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THESE lectures, however defective, at least contain 
the record of a very strong conviction. I feel assured 
that a great deal is offered us, especially in modern 
philosophy, which we do not really care about and 
cannot seriously expect to prove. On the other 
hand, I am persuaded that if we critically consider 
what we really want and need, we shall find that it 
can be rationally established by a straightforward 

In thus maintaining that philosophy gives us the 
quintessence of life, I am not suggesting that the 
best thing in life is the pursuit of philosophy. What 
I mean is thu the things which are most important 
in man's experience are also the things which are 
most certain to his thought. And further, I should 
urge, this is not an accident but inevitable, because 
importance and reality are sides of the same 

And if, as is quite likely, I have almost entirely 
failed to maintain this connection in its detail, I am 
confident that others will be found to take up the 
work with better success. Indeed, I do not conceal 
my belief that in the main the work has been done, 
and that what is now needed is to recall and con- 


centrate the modern mind out of its distraction rather 
than to invent wholly new theoretical conceptions. 

But, it will be asked, is there to be no progress 
in philosophy ? How, one might retort, can there 
be progress if no definite ground is ever to be 
recognised as gained ? There is no progress an a 
Penelope's web. Problems of thought are deepening 
and ramifying, no doubt, from generation to genera- 
tion ; but this is just because an advance has been 
made. We do not even know, it may be said, what 
we mean by matter, nor how it is related to mind. 
But we do know, I think, the limits within which 
the explanation must fall, and we can exclude certain 
ways of approaching the problem as certainly 

I chose Individuality as the clue to my subject, 
because it seemed to be the principle which must 
ultimately determine the nature of the real and its 
constituents, of what is complete and self-contained, 
and of what approximates or belongs to such a 
reality. I wished to investigate its positive nature, 
to show what it intrinsically demands, and what are 
mere incidents annexed to it by a mistaken tradition. 
I hoped that it might be possible to disengage the 
positive nexus of philosophical thought from the 
details of critical controversy which have *been 
necessary to secure its line of advance, and which 
have erroneously been held to indicate a mainly 
destructive attitude. My inmost aspiration, I admit, 
would be expressed if I could say to the critics of 
Absolutism; " Mark now, how a plain talc shall put 


you down." But I am well aware that my perform- 
ance does not justify such language. 

I have retained in this book the formal title 
of lectures. But, of course, it was not possible to 
deliver the whole of what is here printed in ten 
addresses each occupying less than an hour. I have, 
therefore, some hope that the book may appear more 
'coherent than the lectures may perhaps have seemed 
to those who heard them. 

It may be noted that I have not sharply dis- 
tinguished between God and the Absolute. If I am 
able to complete a second course I shall hope to go 
back upon this distinction in dealing specifically with 
the religious experience. 

The fourth lecture is based on a paper which 
appeared in the Proceedings of the British Academy ; 
the second Appendix to the tenth lecture is part of 
a paper which was published in the International 
Journal of Ethics. I have to thank the editors in 
both cases for permission to make use of this 
material. For the ideas expressed in the latter as 
much credit is due to Professor Burners edition of 
Aristotle's Ethics as its author is willing to accept. 

I have reprinted, after the Table of Contents, 
the abstracts of the Lectures prepared by me for 
the daily press, which, as free and popular versions, 
may be of service to some readers. 


EDINBURGH^ November 1911. 


centrate the modern mind out of its distraction rather 
than to invent wholly new theoretical conceptions. 

But, it will be asked, is there to be no progress 
in philosophy ? How, one might retort, can there 
be progress if no definite ground is ever to be 
recognised as gained ? There is no progress in a 
Penelope's web. Problems of thought are deepening 
and ramifying, no doubt, from generation to genera- 
tion ; but this is just because an advance has been 
made. We do not even know, it may be said, what 
we mean by matter, nor how it is related to mind. 
But we do know, I think, the limits within which 
the explanation must fall, and we can exclude certain 
ways of approaching the problem as certainly 

I chose Individuality as the clue to my subject, 
because it seemed to be the principle which must 
ultimately determine the nature of the real and its 
constituents, of what is complete and self-contained, 
and of what approximates or belongs to such a 
reality. I wished to investigate its positive nature, 
to show what it intrinsically demands, and what are 
mere incidents annexed to it by a mistaken tradition. 
I hoped that it might be possible to disengage the 
positive nexus of philosophical thought from the 
details of critical controversy which have been 
necessary to secure its line of advance, and which 
have erroneously been held to indicate a mainly 
destructive attitude. My inmost aspiration, I admit, 
would be expressed if I could say to the critics of 
Absolutism, " Mark now, how a plain tale shall put 



you down." But I am well aware that my perform- 
ance does not justify such language. 

I have retained in this book the formal title 
of lectures. But, of course, it was not possible to 
deliver the whole of what is here printed in ten 
addresses each occupying less than an hour. I have, 
therefore, some hope that the book may appear more 
coherent than the lectures may perhaps have seemed 
to those who heard them. 

It may be noted that I have not sharply dis- 
tinguished between God and the Absolute. If I am 
able to complete a second course I shall hope to go 
back upon this distinction in dealing specifically with 
the religious experience. 

The fourth lecture is based on a paper which 
appeared in the Proceedings of the British Academy ; 
the second Appendix to the tenth lecture is part of 
a paper which was published in the International 
Journal of Ethics. I have to thank the editors in 
both cases for permission to make use of this 
material. For the ideas expressed in the latter as 
much credit is due to Professor Burnet's edition of 
Aristotle's Ethics as its author is willing to accept. 

I have reprinted, after the Table of Contents, 
the abstracts of the Lectures prepared by me for 
the daily press, which, as free and popular versions, 
may be of service to some readers. 


EDINBURGH November 1911. 





Description of the Problem ..... i 

The attitude to experience ..... i 

1. The truly obvious ..... 3 

2. The Pilgrim's Progress of Philosophy ... 7 

3. Some instructive negations .... 9 

(1) " // gran rijiuto " 10 

(2) " Fact," "Life," and "Self" dangerous immediates 13 

(3) Immediacy involves individualism, . . 15 

(4) and rules out tension from perfection, . 17 

(5) and thrusts the Absolute out of Life . . 19 

4. Some central points . . . . .20 

1 i ) What counts is mind as such . . .20 

(2) Logic the spirit of value . . .23 

(3) The "good" of a world ... 24 

(4) The greatness of souls . . . .26 

(5) We have the Absolute throughout . . 27 

5. Intended course of the lectures . 29 



Universal as a general rule . . . .31 

1. Defects of general rule . . . -32 

2. u World " a better type of the universal . . 37 

3. and is one with the Individual. Why trust the nisus 

towards a cosmos ? . . . . .40 

1 i ) Th~ whole is truth . . . , . 41 

(2) Non-contradiction involves a world or whole . 44 



4. Truth or the whole as non-contradiction or satisfaction. 

What whole? . . . . .52 

5. The concrete universal embodies the nisus of thought to 

individuality . . . . .54 

6. The negligent Dualism must and can be overcome in 

principle . . . . . -59 

i. Sensation can become transparent to thought . 61 

ii. Thought is the life of feeling . ,63 

iii. Thought the essence of free activity . . 65 

7. The goal of the universal . . . .68 

i. Individuality = a world self-complete . . 68 

ii. Individual is positively unique, i.e. has his own 

quality . . . . .69 

iii. Individuality prior to purpose . . .70 

iv. The individual is infinite but not a series . 7 1 

8. Is the spiritual inward ? . . . .72 

i. The "inward" not spatial nor mechanical . 72 

ii. True inwardness is outwardness absorbed . 74 

9. Revolting from Mechanism we should go not to History 

but to Art and Religion . . . - 77 



1. Alleged Mentality in Nature at issue with Uniformity . 82 

2. Uniformity as similar repetition dist. relevancy . . 83 

3. Physical measurements compared to social averages . 85 

i. " Average " and " Constant " distinguished . 86 

ii. In comparing group-averages the analogy breaks 

down ...... 87 

4. Physical statistics would be second-class. Social are first- 

class ..... 89 

5. Misconception of Uniformity due to theories of similarity 

and repetition . . . . .91 

6. Individuality implies precisely determinate response . 96 

i. False ideas of what Law involves . . 99 

ii. Every Individual system is a complex of Laws . 102 
iii. True, a shallower world does not give law to a 

deeper . . . .106 

7. To change a response the system must be inwardly changed 1 1 7 





1. Individuality is the universal as spirit of a world of which 

one aspect is Teleology . . . .122 

2. End and means run into one another . . .123 

3. The End as Satiety is not Satisfaction . . .128 

4. Teleology supported by Miracle on Monadism . .132 

5. Teleology and Objective Selection . . 135 

6. Convergence of spiritual value and mechanical intelligibility 138 

7. Organic mechanism due to the world-wisdom, not to finite 

consciousness . . . . .142 

8. The "plan" is the working of the whole . .147 

9. Two points . . . . . 153 

i. Teleology below consciousness . . 153 

ii. Teleology above consciousness . . .154 

10. What applies to Finite Consciousness applies to the god 

of Theism . . . . . .155 



1. Alleged subordination of Mechanism . . .161 

2. Dangers of " Interaction " . . . .166 

3. Suggestion is based on idea of qualitative systems quanti- 

tatively conditioned . . . .174 

(a) Mechanical series in mind . . .176 

(b) Finite Mind based on a complex of determinate 

adjustments . . . . .177 

4. Vice of admitting discontinuity in the logical nexus . 179 

5. Ends are physically embodied in such reactions as that 

of Drosera . . . . . .185 

6. The sciences of body and mind do reinforce each other 

at some points . . . . .187 

7. The world of finite consciousness is also its pre-condition 189 

8. The point . . . . . .193 

i. Mind is a self-shaping world, the centre f an 

externality . . . . .193 



ii. Life is very much wider than finite mind, and rela- 
tively " natural " . . . .195 
iii. Conscious Process is meaning, not effect, of 

physical process . . . .196 


i. A Logical system can act through a Causal 

system adapted to it . . . . 209 

ii. Mind the mainly non-spatial unity of body in action 211 
a. On this view, what acts is not the man ? 
Yes, it is ; his system responds, through 
his machine . . . .214 

(3. Mind is unity of self-direction, but absolute 

condition of sense of value . . 216 

iii. " Soul " does not help. The unity of finite mind 

is an ideal, not a fact . . . .218 



Finite Consciousness not ultimate. Is it a defect in the 

Universe? . . . : . .221 

1. The resistant and the responsive not-self . . 221 

2. Contradiction. What is a solved contradiction ? . 223 

3. The spirit of otherness is Negativity . . . 228 

4. Hostility (Contradiction) confused with Responsiveness 

(Negativity). Vraisemblance of the Confusion . 234 

5. Conclusions opposed to current opinions . .240 

(a) Finiteness and evil not illusions . . . 240 

(/J) The perfect stability must not exclude activity . 243 
(y) " Surplus of pleasure over pain " not the true 

point at issue . . . .244 

(8) All-important whence we adopt suggestions of 

satisfaction ..... 246 

6. The two aspects of the not-self. Is discord essential 

to selfhood ? . . . . .247 

7. H^s firi^e selfhood a value ? The higher mysticism ; 

Continuity with Absolute . . . .251 





1. "Man itself" beyond "man." That it is so is the 

bedrock fact of life . . . . .257 

2. The spirit of Log : c must carry us to the whole . . 262 

3. The higher experiences are the clue to true individuality 

and to the mode of inclusion of the lower . .269 

i. Three vicious analogies for Individual : Thing, 

Legal Person, Self in reflective self-consciousness 283 
ii. Mind is sui generis best described as "a world". 286 



1. Doctrine that you cannot argue on ultimate values . 291 
Possible subordinate meanings of it . . .292 

i. Judgment infallible pro tempore . . . 292 

ii. Value relative to Feeling : but criticised Feeling . 294 

2. An identical criterion in all forms of satisfaction . . 297 

3. Explanation of contingency of de facto Valuations. Impo- 

tence, pre-occupation, means, and ends . .299 

4. "All values reiatr 2 to Persons" compared with "nothing 

has value but conscious states of conscious beings." 
The two propositions may be sharply opposed . 302 

i. States of consciousness, if abstracted from the 

objective world, are meaningless and valueless . 305 
ii. You cannot value states of consciousness apart 

from individuals or the Individual . . 307 

iii. You cannot value finite individuals apart from 

universe . . . . 39 

iv. True in a sense that universe is not " good " or 

"bad " ; but the whole is always the unit of value 3 1 o 
v. Instance the State. Is its value unitary? The 
Greek theory, making it one mind in a number 
of bodies . . . . .311 

5. Conclusion. Things can only be valued in their full nature, 

and a state of consciousness has not this within it . 316 





1. Our view inclusive Individuality means being a world in 

oneself and implies a special kind of self-determination 3 1 8 

2. Objection that we make circumstance the on'y differentiat- 

ing influence. We hold the self to be the inwardness 

of circumstance . . . . -323 

3. Objection from pre-determination. Answered by exhibi- 

tion of creative nature of Logic, carrying its past in its 
present, as in Art . . . . .326 

4. Difficulties in the emptiness and timelessness of self-con- 

sciousness ..... 336 

a. Its emptiness is its omnipotentiality . . 336 

/3. Its timelessness is its " duree " . . . 338 

5. Logic is perfect determination. Fatalism is determinist, 

i.e. imperfect determination . . . .340 

6. Apparent exceptions to " Determinateness = perfection of a 

self" 343 

(i.) The animal self comparable to data without a 

theory an abstraction . . . .344 

(ii.) The na'ive good self compared to grasp of a 

fundamental principle alone . . -345 

(iii.) The evil self compared to a theory persistent 

against completer knowledge . . .349 

7. The ideal of Contingency rests on a confusion between the 

original and the arbitrary . . . 356 



1. "Nature" the environment of selves, considered as self- 

existent. The line between it and mind not fixed. E.g. 

Has it Beauty? . . . . -358 

2. Nature inseparable from mind . . . .361 

i. Starting from kinship we arrive at Monadism or 

Pan-psychism . . . . .362 

ii. Starting from "otherness" we arrive at "source 

of content" ..... 366 


3. Finite minds the living copula of Nature and the Absolute 

an everyday experience . . . 371 

4. The real point is in the transmuting or expanding power 

of common finite mind .... 376 

5. The Absolute the high- water mark of a familiar fluctuation. 

An audacious illustration . . . .378 


1. An all-inclusive span of consciousness either trans- 

forms the events or is no gain . . .387 

2. Perfection must contain imperfection, though in 

finite experience we seldom find that it does . 389 

3. Absolute cannot be will or purpose because these 

must always be parts within wholes . 391 

4. Numerical Infinity a hybrid doctrine . 393 



1. The minimum act of duty . . . 396 

2. The expansion which it involves. The "mean" 

the precise adjustment essential to excellence 

or vitality ..... 397 

3. The standard involved in moral duty. Practical 

wisdom ..... 398 

4. Theoretical wisdom or religion ultimately standard, 

viz. as the ultimate value or quintessence of life 400 

5. "Friendship," i.e. communion in the highest ex- 

perience the link between group-welfare and 
religion ..... 402 

INDEX . . . . . . . 405 




LORD GIFFORD especially desired that the knowledge 
conveyed by these lectures should be " true " not merely 
nominal, and " felt " not a mere theory. They were to 
communicate, or try to communicate, a grave experience. 
This demand introduces us to the double task of philo- 
sophy. It needs the best of logic, but also the best of 
life, and neither can be had in philosophy without the 
other. The present lecture will be devoted to explaining 
by anticipation and without technical proof on what sort 
/tfi experiences the lectures will lay stress as a clue to the 
best of life. It will be clearest to begin by a general 
statement, and some negations. 

To begin with, what philosophy needs as its material 
is the sort of thing that is in a sense obvious, and yet is 
hard to make plain and distinct. The very greatest things 
are of this kind simple examples are, what the painter 
perceives when he represents a wood, and not merely 
a number of trees, or the sociologist, when he understands 
a crowd and not merely a number of persons both late 
in being learnt, though the things are so obvious. The 
central facts should be in the centre. This needs a 
continual arduous effort, as opposed to resting upon 
fixed points here and there. Only the great men attain 
a survey of this kind, and thus, comparatively speaking, 
are right, a far more arduous thing than to be clever. 

Following such a clue, we should begin by rejecting 



the presumption that we are secure in resting where 
we are. A Pilgrim's Progress is inevitable, both in life 
and in thought. Stability, if found at all, must be in 
the end and not in the beginning ; this again is obvious, 
but neglected. Other over-hasty ideas might be found 
in the false denial that great philosophy offers the quint- 
essence of life ; in uncriticiscd reliance on " the solid 
fact," the " sense of living," the " unsharable self." All 
these mark just such timid or indolent withdrawals from 
the great world of reality. 

So with other naYve ideas compensating justice, 
ethics which treat the individual as isolated, teleology 
as guidance by finite minds, and their satisfaction ; a 
heaven modelled on the naYve experience of pleasure, a 
philosophical " hope without guidance," which seems to 
thrust the absolute reality outside the world we deal 
with all these have certain claims to truth ; but there 
are more " central " experiences than these. 

Such, if we turn to the gist of our positive argument, 
would be the conviction that what really matters is not 
the preservation of separate minds as such, but the 
quality and achievement which as trustees for the 
universe they elicit from the resources assigned them ; 
in other words, it is logic, the spirit of totality or effort 
to self-completion, which, being the principle of indivi- 
duality, is the key to reality, value, and freedom. Thus 
the " good " of the universe would be emphatically such 
as must belong to a world, not to a mere member of 
one. It must be such as makes possible the finite being 
and his task, but cannot be the same as what he develops 
in his task. The universe could not truly be thought of 
as a place of pleasure, nor even of probation and justice ; 
it would be nearer the truth to think of it as a place of 
" soul-making." And it would be recognised that, so far 
from our feeling absolute reality to be foreign and remote, 
it is what we feel most fully and intimately, for we feel 
it in everything. 

The present course will deal with the principle of 
individuality of self-completeness as the clue to reality 


and value, and consider its relation to general law, 
teleology, freedom, and the connection of nature and 
the self in absolute reality. The result will be nothing 
new or startling, but will perhaps express and define the 
reasonable faith of open-minded men. It will suggest 
that a sane and central theory is not full of oddities and 
caprices, but is a rendering, in coherent thought, of what 
lies at the heart of actual life and love. 



AN experience which throws light on something beyond 
itself is called " universal." Our first impulse is to think of 
this in the form of a general rule something which is true 
of a number of similar things beyond that in which we first 
noticed it. So we say, e.g., " Same causes, same effects," 
and we take a rule of this kind to express the nature of 
thought. But from the first, though useful in its way, 
this is untrue. The truth which it disguises is that 
thought has always the nature of a system of connected 
members, and is an effort to take that form, which we 
may call a " world," This is the only sort of thing which 
can satisfy the logical law that contradiction is a mark 
of unreality, or the same law that the truth or the 
real is " the whole." 

What is really universal, then *'.., what expresses 
the work of thought in throwing light on experience is 
always of the nature of " a world." In the structure of 
a world every detail gains incalculably in intensity and in 
meaning. " A second of time may be apprehended as a 
part of a minute, or of a musical phrase, or of an act of 
forbearance " ; and its meaning varies accordingly. The 
moral of this is that logical completeness or universality 
is not a deadening but a vitalising quality, and thought is 
not a principle of reproducing reality with omissions, but 
of organising worlds and investing their detail with fresh 


significance. We should compare it with a painter's 
touch or poet's phrase, which embodies vast stores of 
meaning in its vital precision. The essence of thought is 
this nisus towards a whole to adjustment, to seeing 
things as harmonious. It is, therefore, the principle of 
freedom of removing barriers, transforming the alien 
into the kindred. And it is in all finite experience. 

There is, of course, a dualism, or rather a multiplicity, 
in our experience at first sight ; but it is nai've and hasty 
for philosophy to accept that appearance without an 
attempt to overcome it. In sensation, for example, we 
can see the principle of thought. Of course, sensation 
speaks to us and has its laws e.g. y of colour and sound. 
They are not the less logical that we cannot translate 
them into words. A colour-harmony is a necessity of 
thought as much as a syllogism. " Colour is a spirit upon 
things by which they become expressive to the spirit." 
Suppose all sensation were to us like the touch or voice 
of a friend. Then it would have meaning enough. So 
with emotion. The structure, as of a " world," does not 
check it, but expresses, and in expressing creates it ; in a 
great work of music, for example. So with action. To 
be " active " as an originative being is active is to be a 
world which reshapes itself by its own principle, to be a 
" free cause." 

Thus we arrive at the idea of the logical universal as 
a living world, complete and acting out of itself. This, 
so far as complete, is the " individual," and ultimately 
must be one only, and perfect. It is not, therefore, an 
atom, which is its extreme opposite. It is rather in- 
divisible as a life is indivisible, not as something too small 
or too unreal to be divided, like a mere point. In- 
dividuality, then, is positive. It means that what is 
individual, so far as it is so, is itself; not merely that it 
is not somebody else. In finite life individuals repeat 
each other a good deal ; this does not make them less 
individual if what they have is really made their own ; 
compare the borrowings of a great poet. Individuality 
rather defines purpose than is defined by it. Purpose is 


determined by the world in which it arises ; it is the 
need to remove some contradiction. 

Is an individual infinite ? It is self-complete, and so 
without limit in so far as perfect, but only seems an 
endless series in so far as imperfectly understood. Thus 
to know God as a series in time would be an endless task, 
because misconceived from the beginning. The individual 
is the true spiritual ; but not " inward " as conventionally 
opposed to " outward." It is a mistake to confuse deter- 
mination or definiteness with externality and mechanism, 
and the emptiness of most revelations of the higher 
experiences is due to this. True spirituality is not the 
annihilation of the " outward," but its transfiguration in 
the total life. We want to realise what is individual as 
a positive self-moulding cosmos, a definite striving of the 



THE object of this lecture is to remove the idea of 
inconsistency between individuality and the " Uniformity 
of Nature," or the reign of "General Law." There is 
a suggestion that the observations of physical science 
may conceal a high variability in the minute elements 
of matter, just as social averages disguise the differences 
of human beings. But it must be noted that high 
variability, unless In principle inexplicable, is in no way 
opposed to the conception of uniformity (relevancy), and 
that social statistics are marked by an extraordinary 
sensitiveness and progressiveness to which nothing in the 
material world shows any parallel. To discount the con- 
trast between matter and mind is a mistake. 

So with the reign of law. In attempting to defend 
spontaneity against general law, there is grave danger of 
abandoning the relevancy of response to occasion. The 
error lies in a conception of " general law," fthich treats 


it as a predicate of a class of similar objects. But a 
plurality of similar things is not the proper example 
of the application of law, but is a sub-form, and is 
never strictly found. As explained in previous lectures, a 
true universal connection is that which holds between the 
differing parts of an individual system, such that the parts, 
and their variations, though not similar, determine each 
other, as in any machine, or more completely in an 
organism or mind. The law of falling bodies would be 
very poorly described as a common predicate of falling 
bodies. It is essentially a quantitative connection 
between distinct factors. And, in principle, each case 
of the connection is unique, being a distinct and separate 
variation of the principle. They might or might not be 
apparently (never exactly) repeated. That has nothing 
to do with the universality of the law, which lies in the 
nexus between the different constituents which enter into 
each case under it. 

Thus, the more perfect the individual the more com- 
plete would be its universality, and the smaller the element 
of repetition. When a need or function has once been 
provided for, to provide for it again means that the first 
attempt was unsuccessful. But every feature of the 
whole is in a nexus of variation with every other. We 
might think of a man's actions. The " universal " is the 
man's nature. The interest of his actions depends on 
their expressing this connectedly, but differently in 
different situations. Every individual is a universal law 
expressed in a set of connected functions, precise in 
quantity and adjustment. A moral failure, for instance, 
betrays itself in some maladjustment of the thousand 
details of action. (See Appendix II. to Lecture X.) 

What is meant when individuality is contrasted with 
general law is that the laws, eg., of space and time, do 
not explain the conduct of a person. This is not because 
they are too universal, but because they are not universal 
enough. They have too little in them. So Laplace's 
" calculator " could not predict everything, unless he 
knew much more than the position of all physical elements. 


He would not be a true type of intelligence. What is 
repugnant to man is not prediction of his conduct, but 
reduction of himself to a different kind of existence. 
We could only predict action in as far as we are the 
same with the agent. But this is not a prohibitive 
condition. The spiritual world depends wholly on our 
being continuous with one another " entering into " one 
another, and, in fact, the main outline of men's life and 
work constantly is anticipated by others. " General 
law," it is said, " would require a man to do the same 
in the same situation ; but his will might be changed, 
so that he behaved differently." But a will could not 
be changed without changing the world which is the man ; 
it is re-shaped, and the whole situation is different. The 
intention of the views here combated is to show intelli- 
gence as inadequate to spiritual reality. But, in fact, 
the spiritual world depends on the unity of intelligence, 
and " man is a shop of rules," and even prediction, which 
is a form of mutual understanding, is not wholly to be 



THE question for this lecture is what help we get from 
the notion of a mind which purposes or desires things, in 
Appreciating the worth of factors in the universe. The 
idea called "Teleology" is that you find something 
valuable when you find what has been the purpose or 
intention of some mind, human or divine ; just as in daily 
life there are some things we want ("ends") and other 
things ("means") we only choose to help us in getting the 
former, and only the "ends" are valuable for their own sake. 
But to be desired by a human mind is almost no proof of 
value, for their desires are constantly wrong ; while it is 
impossible seriously to treat a mind which is the universe 
as a workman of limited resources, aiming at some things 



and obliged to accept others as means to these. Thus 
the distinction of what is purposed for its own sake and 
what is not so could not be applied to the universe ; and 
teleology, if the word was kept, could only be a name for 
some principle which would help to tell us what has value, 
quite independent of being or not being the purpose 
of some mind. It would mean not . purposiveness but 
worthiness to be purposive. And this would be much 
more important, because the actual purpose of human 
or animal minds seems constantly to be wrong, i.e., to 
defeat itself. If such a point of view were pressed home, 
the distinction between mental purpose and natural 
mechanism, on which commonplace teleology rests, would 
be superseded so far as this, that we should look for the 
value of the universe in its entire and continuous working ; 
and while its order or unity would be recognised as ex- 
pressing itself in part through human consciousness, we 
should not treat this as super-adding a new principle of 
plan and direction upon the ordinary laws of Nature 
considered as directionless. We should consider the 
whole, nature and mind, as the revelation of the value of 
the universe. The bearing and result of these considera- 
tions would be to lay greater stress on a factor which 
might be called in a very wide sense " natural selection " ; 
that is to say, on the moulding of the c/ganic world, and 
even the world of mind, in relation to the environment 
which we know as physical Nature, by and through which 
the possibilities of life and mind are elicited and deter- 
mined ; while they, in turn, elicit and determine those of 
Nature. There would be no priority in " mind," as if it 
possessed a " plan " apart from Nature. 

It would become apparent that there is a teleology (if 
the word is to be retained) deeply rooted in the universe, 
wholly above and beyond any plan or contrivance of 
a consciousness guiding or directing the universe, but 
expressing itself, for example, in conjunctions and results 
of the co-operation of human minds, quite beyond the 
knowledge and intentions of any of them ; and, again, in 
the character and formations of inorganic nature altogether 


below the region of intelligent action, but plainly the 
foundation of the development to which that action 
belongs, e.g., as geological to biological evolution. It 
should be noted that of the lower forms of consciousness 
at least it is impossible to suggest that they guide organic 
evolution. It is plain that the guidance comes from the 
environment, and even if subjective selection assists 
adaptation, it stands or falls finally by the verdict of 
natural selection. The conclusion would be that the value 
of the universe, or its capacity to constitute an experience 
without defect, lies much deeper than in what is commonly 
called teleology ; which is understood to imply direction 
by a supreme mind outside or above the universe, and by 
finite minds within it. The suggestion would be that the 
universe is, as a whole, self-directing and self-experiencing ; 
that minds (such as ours) are members of it, which play 
their part, taught and moulded through Nature, in the 
work of direction, and a very essential part in the work of 
appreciation. But the supreme principle of value and 
reality would be wholeness, completeness, individuality, 
and not teleology. 



THE relation of mind to body is a leading instance of the 
true nature of individuality. The view of this relation 
which we should favour would be more akin to " parallelism " 
than to " interaction," because we should wish to think of 
mind rr.ther as a perfection and co-operation of the adapta- 
tions and acquisitions stored in the body than as a 
separate thing, independent of these, and acting upon the 
body from the outside without being regulated by them. 

To abandon the idea that the mind expresses itself 
in action through energy, whose quantity and distribution 
depend on the nourishment and organisation of the nervous 
system (and " interaction " in principle abandons this idea), 


withdraws all limit from the supply, and rationality from 
the distribution, of the energy which that theory must 
suppose to be gratuitously furnished by the mind without 
participation of the body. Views of this type only escape 
manifest conflict with common sense by restricting the 
amount of energy so furnished to an amount below the 
possibility of measurement, operating analogously to the 
release of a trigger or to the spark which explodes the 
gas in a gas-engine. But this restriction to an inappreci- 
able quantity seems to be really an appeal to ignorance. 
In principle it sacrifices the constancy of energy, but 
attempts to do so in a degree which can never be experi- 
mentally detected. It may be that the constancy of 
energy ought to be set aside ; but, if so, there seems no 
reason for not setting it aside much more boldly, in a 
degree which would at once conflict with common sense. 
It is not its own certainty that makes its maintenance in 
this application desirable, but the necessity for some order 
and limit in the operation of the whole " body and mind " ; 
which has to be furnished by bare imagination if this 
simple equivalence, which we accept unhesitatingly on 
the large scale (in the dependence of life on food, etc.), is 
to be thrown aside. 

Answers to the objection that a physical system (the 
brain) cannot possibly represent a " Cleaning " or an 
" end " are to be found in any complex reaction in which 
the nature of a physical whole responds to a simple 
stimulus, as in the reaction of a carnivorous plant or of 
a penny-in-the-slot machine, and in the action of the 
brain as a whole in support of a particular system realis- 
ing itself. 

Thus there is nothing in mind which the physical 
counterpart cannot represent, and the whole life of mind 
being continuous, and new purposes interwoven at every 
point with old purposes and experiences, it cannot be 
said that portions of mind are such as to be represented 
in the physical counterpart and portions are not. This 
would make mind discontinuous with itself. 

Thus, admitting that we cannot think of " explaining " 


consciousness, we should obtain a more genuine notion of 
the finite soul. It would seem to be a perfection, follow- 
ing upon certain physical conditions, and constituting a 
conscious world, capable of diverse degrees of unity and 
perfection, and essentially an organ of the universe for 
focussing and appreciating that special range of the 
external world with which it is connected. 

This point of view would suggest the importance of 
the support of abstract ideas (say, ethical ideas) by active 
habits, in opposition to the view for which the merit of 
ideas has nothing to do with their effectiveness. The 
conditions of completeness of an idea are highly analogous 
to the conditions of prevalence of a nervous impulse. An 
idea which has no range of application to reality is im- 
perfect by that fact. Body, then, would be a highly 
organised and adapted causal system ; a mind, a logical 
one. The difference between them could not be explained 
away ; but we understand them best if we take mind as 
the significance and interpretation (not the effect) of body; 
and body as the stored acquisitions and adaptations 
which are the foundation and machinery of the single 
but complex world which is a mind. 




IT has been made clear by the argument up to this point 
that minds like ours, planning and guiding matter to ends, 
even though immensely greater than ours, could not be 
the main directors of the universe. They rest on arrange- 
ments below them ; they indicate in every feature fuller 
forms of completeness above them. Still their main 
character, the consciousness of self, might indicate to 
us something of the structure of reality. What would it 
suggest ? The approximation of self-consciousness to an 
absolute experience must be determined by two V/ell-known 


phases of experience contradiction, and, the negativity 
or sense of tension which survives in the solution of a 
contradiction, which latter may be described in general as 
satisfaction. Logical contradiction consists in different 
natures claiming the same place in the same system, 
so that they conflict, and cause logical or even general 
dissatisfaction and unrest, which constitute an impulse to 
the " solution " of the conflict. This would consist in such 
a readjustment of terms, by a new distinction or the 
introduction of a fresh point of view, that the conflicting 
terms can find place together within the system in 
question, both of them, and the system, being somewhat 
modified. Any advance in theory or reconciliation in 
practical life, is an example. Such a contradiction is not 
a mere mistake of ours which ought not to exist. It is a 
character of the finite world, and, because it is intolerable 
to the mind, is the mainspring of movement and effort 
in that world. 

Now it is natural to think that when a " contradiction " 
is " solved " nothing like it survives in the solution. But 
this cannot really be so. If it were we should not feel it 
to be a solution or satisfaction. There is always the 
sense that something has been overcome, and that the one 
term is expanded by coalescence with the other. The 
satisfaction of desire is an example. This we may call the 
Negativity which survives in satisfaction. 

Now to return to the self it is obvious that the 
consciousness of self (cp. " self-consciousness " in the bad 
sense) often depends on a sense of hostility to the not-self, 
in which it appears to conflict with or contradict the self. 
Sometimes this is treated in theory as the only basis of 
the assurance of self. In that case it would be analogous 
to contradiction, and the sense of self would disappear as 
experience was harmonised, just as contradiction disap- 
pears in a "solution." But this would neglect another 
obvious fact, that the self is at its best and fullest, and the 
sense of it, in a way, strongest, when the not-self is most 
expanded and also most harmonious with it (cp. e.g. a 
savage with Newton or Darwin). And the suggestion of 


this fact is confirmed by the above logical account of 
negativity in satisfaction. The sense of distinctness is not 
lost in a " solution " ; on the contrary, the sense of having 
found yourself in another is an essential of satisfaction. 
Thus the suggestion is that though contradiction disap- 
pears in perfection, negativity does not ; and though 
hostility to the not-self may help in awakening self- 
consciousness, yet a harmony in distinction with the 
not-self is a deeper element in self-assurance, and one that 
increases with the perfection of the self. This points to 
the conclusion that a perfect experience maintains the 
positive sense of the self as something which continually 
passes out of and regains itself (dies to live). It is indi- 
cated by this conclusion that pain and evil arc not illusions, 
but essential to the structure of reality, being of the same 
general type as satisfaction and good, but rendered con- 
tradictory by their imperfection. The general form of 
reality, self-sacrifice and satisfaction, being ultimately of 
the same type throughout, would be in a perfect life 
completed in a way in which both would be experienced. 



THIS lecture is meant to summarise the reasons for 
believing in the Absolute, and to explain what indications 
we possess of the way in which we could be included in 
something greater than ourselves ; and how, in con- 
sequence, we ought to think of our own being and of 
our connection with others. Beginning with a current 
criticism, first made by Aristotle, " If we know what man 
is, what is the sense of talking of ' real man ' as if it were 
something more ? " the answer is, " We do not know man 
as he is ; his nature is only in process of being com- 
municated to him." This is to be seen in everyday life. 
When some great experience art, love, war carries a 
man "out of himself," you say, " I shouldn't .have known 


him," and he feels the same. So in the perfect experience, 
only more so. Of course, what we see of him is " in the 
Absolute," because everything is ; only there is much more 
of him than we see. 

The argument that expresses these facts is technically 
known as the argument a contingentia mundi *>., the 
fundamental process of logic, which works by the creative 
method of meeting and removing contradictions through 
the development of the world of thought. This is the law 
of non-contradiction in its positive operation, finding the 
solution of difficulties in " the whole." It gives rise to the 
sort of unity by which, e,g^ we now think of the Antipodes 
in one and the same idea with the earth's surface as we 
see it, or of the mere parental instinct in one idea with 
the civilised family. An argument of this kind carries us 
to the Absolute without a break, merely insisting on what 
our given nature implies. What it does for us is not to 
assure us of a new and disconnected experience, such as 
" Heaven," but to show us what is more trustworthy and 
stable, and what is more incoherent and defective, in the 
range of our life. It gives us " hope," but also " guidance." 
" Higher, truer, more beautiful, better, and more real, 
these, on the whole, count in the Universe as they count 
for us." 

To do such an argument justice, we should take into 
account man at his best. The minimum meaning of a 
word or thing is often treated as the one genuine meaning, 
because it is current. But this is a groundless prejudice. 
It is careless to say that a man " really is " separate and 
self-centred because he feels so at his worst. Why not 
found our theories on men as they are when they fight 
on the same side, or give their life for a friend ? To 
think in this way would help us with perhaps the greatest 
difficulty in conceiving the Absolute viz., how one mind 
or mood can be included in another. Take Dante's 
religion. It includes religious absorption, moral struggle, 
the aesthetic sense, and intellectual satisfaction. We weaker 
minds can only get hold of these moods in succession, 
though each, really implies all the others. What we grasp 


of them at any; moment is like a bit of a mountain seen 
through a mist. It looks quite different from what it 
would if we saw more. But it is part of that " more," 
only dissociated from it by our weakness, which is 
necessary, perhaps, for its perfect realisation. 

The conclusion would be that we should not think of 
ourselves merely after the pattern of separate things, or 
personalities in the legal sense, or even as selves in the 
sense of isolation and exclusion of others. We are minds, 
i.e., living microcosms, not with hard and fast limits, but 
determined by our range and powers, which fluctuate very 
greatly. There would be no gain in wiping out the dis- 
tinction between one self and another in finite life ; our 
limitations themselves no doubt have a value. Still, in 
principle, our limitations are merely de facto \ there is no 
hard barrier set that can make our being discontinuous 
with others or with the perfect experience. 



THE subject to be considered is " Individuality " as the 
ultimate criterion of value. The meaning of this might 
be approached through two well-known sayings, " It is 
no good arguing about tastes/ 1 and " Excellence in art 
depends on fundamental brainwork." The former we 
should deny, the latter we should maintain. " Indivi- 
duality " we saw to mean logical self-completeness, freedom 
from incoherence. And we saw that this comes only by 
a strong and consistent positive nature. So the idea we 
are to maintain is that things, acts, feelings, have " value " 
in as far as they are completely organised, do not break 
down, have parts or members which confirm and sustain 
one another. Art is only one case ; the principle extends 
to everything within experience. In short, the power of 
giving satisfaction, " satisfactoriness," is a thing: that can 


profitably be argued about. We are not satisfied, i.e. we 
do not value things, without some positive reason in their 
nature. The denial that values can be profitably argued 
upon may mean either of two things which are true as far 
as they go. It may mean that our judgments hold good 
till they are reversed by subsequent judgments ; and in 
practice this is a hard thing to get done. This is true, but 
equally true of all judgment, and, of course, we do modify 
our judgments through argument. Or it may mean that 
" value " is a matter of feeling, which is a simple fact, and 
judgment may state it, but cannot produce it. This is 
true so far that, apart from feeling, there can be no value. 
But, having feeling, we can both test it and modify it by 
critical reasoning. Good literary criticism shows how this 
can be done. In truth, the education of feeling is the most 
important of all education teaching people to like and 
dislike rightly as the Greeks knew ; and this means that 
there is a standard. 

The question of " value " then is the question of com- 
plete and durable satisfaction, and it depends on what 
Plato would call "amount of reality and of trueness." 
Plato's doctrine is reproduced with higher intensity, but 
without its logical basis, in the passage, " He that drinketh 
of this water shall thirst again," etc. 

It is easy to explain why our de facto valuations 
are so conflicting. It is just like our conduct and our 
opinions. Our minds are very limited, and are preoc- 
cupied by this or that interest, which prevents us really 
attending to others. 

Two views, which sound much alike, of the relation 
of value to conscious minds, must be sharply distinguished 
<c all values concern persons? and " all values attach to 
conscious states? Certainly there must be consciousness 
and feeling in order to appreciate values. But the second 
statement may be taken to mean that the value resides 
in the separate successive conscious states (as eg. in 
moments of pleasure), each by itself, without reference 
to their place in the personality, or in any higher unity 
such as the social whole to which they may belong. So 


interpreted, the second statement not only does not repeat 
the first, but flatly contradicts it. 

But the first seems true. Things can only be valued 
right when valued in their whole nature, and that they 
only have in the complete being to which they belong. 
So the Greek theory of the State expressly says you 
cannot value the individuals separately, and then find 
the value of the social whole by adding up those of the 
individuals, because each individual only has his full and 
real nature and value in the whole life of the community. 
Thus not only the servant has his value largely in his 
master's work, which he makes possible ; but the rulers 
have their value in the qualities which they share with 
and learn from the subject classes. This is true of every 
community, and a fortiori, of the conscious moments 
within the life of an individual compared with the person 
himself. The conclusion is that the judgment of value 
can be- logically supported, because the objects of our 
likings and dislikings possess as much of satisfactoriness, 
which is the same thing with value, as they possess of 
" reality and trueness." This is value for us, because our 
\yhole being is implicated in the world about us, while 
our vitality our feeling is raised and lowered by the 
nutrition, so to speak, which at any point that world affords 
to our mind and body. 



OUR view leads us to regard freedom and initiative 
the subject of the lecture as the inherent effort of mind, 
considered as a "world," in the direction of unity and 
self-completeness, i.e. individuality. If it is objected that 
according to such a doctrine the difference between one 
mind and another springs, not from the nature of its 
self-consciousness, but from the range of circumstances 
which fill up its world, the answer is, in the main, that 


that is what our minds are for to elicit, to represent in 
themselves, the " true inwardness " of that special field of 
experience in which they are embodied ; and they find 
their freedom and individual initiative in the working, 
the "logic" of this special contribution to the eternal 
deed. Of course it would be untrue to suppose that 
circumstances are, in such a mind or active focus, what 
they seem as seen from the outside, or as in any other 
mind or focus. 

This may be tested by the further objection that our 
doctrine involves determination of the mind by previous 
events, which are fixed and past, and cannot be re- 
modelled, so that the action of the " individual " has been 
compared to the " rattling off of a chain " previously forged 
" Tout est donne" is Bergson's reiterated criticism. 

The usual and sufficient answer to this criticism lies in 
the distinction between a motive, which is the mind read- 
ing itself as a whole into a situation as a whole (so that, 
of course, any factor in the situation may take on quite a 
new aspect), and a cause, in which there is no such total 
presence of a self, but only a succession such as an outside 
observer may note. 

Instead of restating this familiar point, we might raise 
the same question more sharply by asking what sort of 
novelty or origination there is which would satisfy us, if 
the inherent logic of the self will not ? What, e.g. do we 
really expect and demand of what we call " creative " art 
in its best and most original products ? There is much 
misconception in the popular mind on this point, and it is 
aggravated by recent theories which break up the inventive 
process of transformation into sheer imitation plus in- 
explicable invention in a quite fallacious manner. Art is 
" creative " by the concreteness of its content and the depth 
of its penetration, and it cannot be predicted, for the same 
reason that whole lives cannot that you cannot do a thing 
beforehand except by being its author beforehand ; and 
this is more possible in abstractions (e.g. calculation) than 
in very concrete life. But all the same, its creativeness 
lies in its fulness and penetration, not in arbitrariness and 


discontinuity with reality, and in ultimate principle its 
initiative and originality is of the same nature with self- 
transformation of the self in moral action. Any freedom 
or initiative which were not of this nature would be wholly 
devoid of the continuity which is necessary to a human 
interest. " Life," which we are offered as the type of 
active duration or freedom, is, compared with the freedom 
we speak of, like a bird's song to the Iliad. A freedom 
freer than the latter type has never produced anything 
worth having, and never could. The " timelessness " of 
this self, *>. its presence to itself, is the same thing in 
principle with the dure'e of which so much is said to-day. 
This determinateness, which must be fullest in the most 
perfect being, is opposite in principle to determinism, 
which is the partial determinateness of unawakened beings 
whose responses arc relative to exceedingly limited totali- 
ties, and form what we call physical causation. It is 
interesting to consider why imperfect determinateness in 
a conscious being is not always a sign of grave moral 
evil, as it certainly is of some kind of imperfection. The 
answer is that it only means moral evil where there is 
a. deep-seated contradiction within a determinate self. 
Otherwise, as in na'fve morality, though it indicates a 
defect, that defect is not an explicit contradiction. Our 
view has attempted, by distinguishing determinateness and 
determinism, to rescue our moral freedom from the two 
vicious ideals of contingency and predetermination, and to 
exhibit it in connection with the type of activity for which, 
.by common consent, the terms " original " and " creative " 
are most appropriately reserved. 



THE object of this lecture " Nature, the Self, and the 
Absolute" is to summarise the suggestions which had 
been made in the lectures as to the connection between 


the main factors of experience as we know it, " Nature " 
and " the Self," when we try to think of them as belonging 
to a complete and single system, which may be called the 
Absolute. It is very difficult to draw the line between 
Nature and the Self. Nature as regarded by mathe- 
matical physics is not a reality, but merely a way of 
representing certain characters of the world which are 
convenient for calculation. Nature, as we really experi- 
ence it, with primary, secondary, and tertiary (aesthetic) 
qualities, can only be distinguished from ourselves as 
fragmentary experiences from conscious centres of experi- 
ence. It is actually real ; but that cannot mean that it 
is real by itself, *., apart from minds which experience it. 
Its being physical cannot exclude its being continuous 
with what is psychical. Now Nature, so understood, is 
closely bound up with Mind or Self; but the question 
is, How? 

It is sometimes taken as made up of elements having 
minds, though showing to us as bodies. This is the 
doctrine of Pan-psychism, treating Nature as like Mind. 
The difficulty is that what we want of it is its body rather 
than its mind. Its mind (e.g., that of a lake or mountain) 
does nothing, and is not what we want from it. Our 
minds represent its nature better than its own mind 

Therefore, it seems better to accept it frankly as com- 
plementary to mind, *>., as an external system, continuous 
with our minds, through which the content and purposes 
of the universe are communicated. Note, this is not 
saying that our minds lay down purposes which Nature 
is bound to carry out ; but that they are able to learn 
from Nature what the universe suggests and demands. 
Nature is not the slave of man. Nature, then, lives and 
is complete in the life of our minds, each of which draws 
its content from some particular range of Nature, so that 
all the detail of the universe is elicited into mental foci, 
and " external " conditions are held together in such foci, 
and pass, through them, into the complete experience 
which we call the whole or the Absolute. 


From such a point of view the Absolute is the high- 
water mark of an ^ffbrt in which our minds actually 
consist and have their being, fluctuating in the successful- 
ness of the effort within everyday experience. Each self 
is more like a rising and falling tide, which covers a wider 
area as it is deeper at the deepest point, than like an 
isolated pillar with a fixed circumference, which is the 
idea suggested by popular Pluralism. Thus the important 
point of view is what we might call Multiplicism, to mark 
the distinction from Pluralism viz., the variety of levels, 
not the number of centres, in experience ; and the problem 
of Monism would be how far we could conceive a highest 
level including and representing all the others. Dualism 
has no prerogative of importance ; Plato deals in tri- 
plicism, quadruplicism, and multiplicism quite as much as 
in dualism. The transmutation of experience, according 
to the level of a mind's energy and self-completeness, is a 
fact of daily life, and is sufficient in principle to establish 
the reality of the Absolute. 

We should note that, as is natural in finite beings, the 
qualities of the same mind do not keep step. Plato, for 
instance, leaves plenty of room for " the Treasure of the 

Just to bring our suggestions together by a very imper- 
fect simile, we might compare the Absolute to, say, Dante's 
mind as uttered in the Divine Comedy. The point would 
be that in it external nature, say, Italy, becomes an emotion 
and a value, not less but more than spatial ; each self, say 
Paolo or Francesca, while still its real self, is also a factor 
in the poet's mind, which is uttered in all these selves 
taken together ; and the whole poetic experience is single, 
and yet includes a world of space and persons, which to 
any common mind fall apart and become " a geographical 
expression" plus certain commonplace historical figures. 
This inclusion we compare to the Absolute, as it holds 
together what for us is finite experience. Next year I 
hope to apply these ideas to human (*.*. finite) value and 



THE problem which I am to invite you to study 
together with me is described in Lord Gifford's 
Deed of Foundation by help of very various formulae. 
But what essentially he saw to be important may be 
reduced, I think, to three requirements, which indeed 
express an undying need of the human mind. We 
are to study, if we respect his wishes (i) the nature 
of the sole Reality, that within which we live and 
move and have our being ; (2) the duty and destiny 
of finite creatures as illuminated by their relations 
with such a reality ; and (3) our knowledge and 
this requirement he puts in the forefront is to be a 
knowledge not merely nominal, but true (he means, 
J think, carrying deep conviction) and felt or as 
we might say, it is to involve the communication of 
a grave experience, and not the mere framework of 
a theory. 

"Not the mere framework of a theory." WeTheatti- 
have implied in this requirement the double task of experience. 
philosophy. For certainly, in approaching this high 
argument, we cannot lay aside the method of serious 
and systematic thought ; the indispensable justifica- 
tion of all procedure that carries our beliefs beyond 

I B 


or below the simplest surfaces of lifer The frame- 
work of a theory we unquestionably must develop. 
But there is something more ; something more, and 
yet something inseparable; not behind or beyond 
the theoretical structure, but rather its informing 
life and spirit. And this something is our attitude 
to experience ; or more strictly, the mode of experi- 
ence in which each of us more especially sees and 
feels his continuity with reality. And it might very 
naturally be said that the framework of our theories 
has its value only as an embodiment of this selection 
and feeling and point of view. But if we tried to 
pursue such an idea seriously, we should quickly find 
it reverse itself; and our attitude in selecting the 
experience on which man is to rely in interpreting 
his world would collapse into a mere mood or 
humour of our mind, if it were not concentrated and 
organised in a serious philosophical theory. It is 
the old story of matter and form, of their absolute 
relativity, and the impossibility of conceiving either 
apart from the other. 

The demands, then, of the gravest methodic 
thought will tax our best energies in some stages of 
the pilgrimage which some of us, as I hope, are to 
undertake together. And therefore it seems well 
to devote this initial lecture to a rapid anticipatory 
survey of the sort of attitude in experience and out- 
look on the world which our exposition will do its 
best to communicate, as knowledge carrying deep 
conviction and appealing to our whole being. That 
was the sense which we ascribed to Lord Gifford's 

And for clearness 1 sake I shall begin by describing 
this attitude of ours in a great degree through nega- 


lives. It will help us to apprehend what sort of 
thing we hope to establish, if we lay down clearly 
from the first what movements and tendencies we 
shall be obliged on the whole to repel. 

i. And first we may say a word on the idea of The truly 
proportion, centrality, sanity, in the selection of the 
experience which is to dominate our attitude. We 
may oppose it to tendencies and inclinations which 
strike us as pre-eminently over-specialised, centri- 
fugal, capricious. It is commonly held right to avoid 
the obvious, and in a certain sense we shall preach 
against it ourselves. But there is an obvious which 
depends not on immediacy but on centrality and 
dominance ; and the obvious of this kind it is not 
easy to apprehend nor yet well to ignore. A wood 
seems an obvious thing, and so does a crowd. But 
we know that it is not easy to see the wood for the 
trees, or to apprehend the mind of a crowd or of a 
society. The former, I take it, is a late acquirement 
of the painter's art ; the latter, many would tell us, 
was never really understood till the last generation. 
These instances, the first that come to hand, may 
serve to indicate the conception of that " obvious" 
which is familiar and yet neglected. And more 
important cases will emerge as we proceed. 

We begin then with the principle the truism if 
you like that in our attitude to experience, or 
through experience to our world, we are to put the 
central things in the centre, to respect the claims of 
the obvious which is neglected to take for our 
standard what man recognises as value when his life 
is fullest and his soul at its highest stretch. 1 

1 This is, I venture to think, a more tenable form of the demand 
which Professor Varisco makes (/ Massimi Problemf) that the 


But one hears the critic murmur* that all these 
terms of rank and value merely beg the question. 
What are the central things, and what is the soul's 
highest stretch ? About all that there will be plenty 
to say when we come to exhibit our attitude in its 
aspect of logical theory. At present we are only 
urging by anticipation that there are in life central 
and dominant experiences, whose importance is 
obvious and undeniable, but which seldom find due 
recognition in the formal philosophy of others than 
the greatest men. And therefore philosophical 
theory seems frequently, and gravely, to fail in 
focussing the total conviction which, with courage 
and an open mind, a man may gather from the world. 
Theory seems too impatient, too much the victim of 
antitheses, too liable to break up its object in obedi- 
ence to crude impressions, instead of using all its 
strength to ensure that its attitude to life is sane and 
central that its experience is strong and profound 
and complete. 

You do not, for example, readily find, represented 
in philosophical doctrine, so large and free an im- 
pression of the world as has recently been gathered 
by a gifted student of Shakespeare. 1 Reducing it 
to our own inferior language, it is something like 
this. We receive from the world a tremendous im- 
pression of evil ; there is no question of thjtt. We 
also receive an overwhelming impression of good 
something that we call good ; that again is un- 
questionable. And the difficulty begins when you 
try to disentangle them the one belongs to the 

judge of values shall be ex veritate " of the truth " (in the N.T. 
sense). This sounds to me too much like a division into sheep and 

1 A. C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy ', p. 24 ff. 


other, and you cannot get them apart. Now instead 
of patiently interrogating experience, and endeavour- 
ing to take account of the largest and bravest attitude 
of soul, 1 theory here is apt to rush in, on the basis 
of first appearances, and either prove that black is 
white, or that white is black, or that the whole is an 
invisible patchwork of the two and is really grey. 

But this, we urge, does not represent our central 
impression ; it does not confront the more complete 
and sane and courageous experience. For the 
phenomena, as we really recognise them, are like 
those of beauty and ugliness ; you cannot divide 
them between this side and that, and say " Lo here !" 
or " Lo there ! " You have rather to open your eyes 
to the higher obvious, and look at the greater ex- 
periences as they are. You have to apprehend 
sublimity and splendour actually lighting up the 
lines of horribleness and squalor. You cannot, 
perhaps, " solve the problem 11 ; but you can see 
that the whole thing belongs together in a way 
which our prima facie judgments wholly fail to con- 
front. So with " good " and " evil " in the Universe. 
Such experiences as Moral Good, Pleasure, Justice, 
take you only a certain way. With the best of 
logic you cannot make a universe out of them ; or, 
more truly, the best of logic refuses to handle these 
alone. The matter must be of higher quality or it 
will noc give rise to the fuller form. So the higher, 
yet obvious and dominant, experience carries you at 
least as far as, for example, strength and endurance, 
love and sacrifice, the making and the achievement 
of souls. 

1 Ruskin has somewhere called attention to the loss which comes 
from thinking being " the work as a rule of the cowards " (say, more 
politely, the sedentary classes), and not that of the soldiers. 


And we shall observe the same principle to hold in 
the world of cognitive apprehension. We certainly 
feel error everywhere, and yet again we have a hold 
of truth. And the great central experience which 
may be called the arduousness of reality, though we 
confess it with our lips at every moment, we seldom 
really face in our philosophical theory. We fall 
back upon one phase or another of rest and refuge, 
of repose on a solid nucleus which we call fact, or 
surrender to a stream of indetermination which we 
call life, and are blind to the open secret which all 
life worth living should make as plain to a candid 
apprehension as a crowd or a forest should be to 
the bodily eye. For, in the one case as in the 
other, what is familiar and fundamental appears, for 
that very reason, to evade precise perception. The 
great philosophers, it will be found, are just those 
who have succeeded in discerning the great and 
simple facts. It is, I am convinced, a serious lack 
of sympathetic insight which prevents us from 
understanding that to be right in one's bird's-eye 
view of centrality and the scheme of values, demands 
a higher intellectual character and even a more toil- 
some intellectual achievement than to formulate 
whole volumes of ingenious ratiocination. True, 
without logical development there is no philosophy ; 
but no skill in development will compensate for a 
defective attitude to life. It is not that the " matter " 
may be bad and the form excellent, or vice versa, 
and so the one can injure or redeem the other. It 
is, as we said just now, that the whole, the philo- 
sophy, which, like a poem, is matter and form in 
one, reacts to a sound or defective outlook upon life 
alike in its spirit and in its structure call matter or 


form which you will. Bad taste is bad logic, and 
bad logic is bad taste. Simply to be right, as the 
greatest men are right, means to have traversed 
hundreds and thousands of ingenuities, to have 
rejected them as inadequate, and come back to the 
centre enriched by their negative results. 

2. Turning then for a moment, still in the way The 
of anticipation and description, to the negative 
aspect of the sane and central experience, we take 
it as a patent and dominant fact that nowhere, in 
asserting our continuity with the real, do we stand 
in the beginning on safe and solid ground. I mean 
on ground on which, if we chose, we could remain. 
It tells us nothing to say that an experience is 
immediate ; for there are countless immediates and 
there is nothing that cannot be immediate. But 
if we understand by immediate so far as may be 
the primary datum, the factual nucleus, the na'ive 
apprehension, then it is the plain and unmistak- 
able lesson of logic and of the world that the 
immediate cannot stand. You cannot anywhere, 
whether in life or in logic, find rest and salvation 
by withdrawing from the intercourse and implica- 
tions of life ; no more in the world of individual 
property and self-maintenance than in the world of 
international politics and economics ; no more in 
the world of logical apprehension than in that of 
moral service and religious devotion. Everywhere 
to possess reality is an arduous task ; stability and 
solidity are not in the beginning, but, if anywhere, 
only in proportion as we enter upon the larger 
vistas of things. 

All this is what we are calling obvious. But as 
we shall observe throughout with reference to many 


supreme characters of experience, because it is 
obvious, it is neglected. The greatest truths, we 
shall often have to maintain, are assented to but 
not believed. If this obvious character of all our 
dominant experience (experience not to be taken as 
exclusive, but as the profoundest clue to the rest) 
if this obvious character were not disregarded, how 
should we come across such arguments with refer- 
ence to the attainment of philosophical truth, as 
that the stream cannot rise higher than its source 
(a type of occurrence which is in fact the essence 
both of life and of logic), or that in the quest for the 
Absolute we are abandoning our solid given self? 
The clamour resounds on all sides that we are 
dropping the substance for the shadow. And we 
have perpetually to recur to the obvious and lead- 
ing facts of our existence, to reassure ourselves 
that the stubborn truth of things (if these rough 
contrasts are to be tolerated at all) lies in the 
opposite sense ; and that the shadow and the sub- 
stance stand towards one another not as the critic 
but as Plato affirms them to stand. We shall find 
occasion to return to the question of Plato's so- 
called dualism. At present it is enough to say that 
this splitting up of Plato's universe into two per 
sistent extremes is a part of the easy-going centri- 
fugal attitude against which our whole thesis will 
prove to be a protest. For Plato, emphaticafly and 
primarily, the world is but one ; 1 and of this one 
world, the human soul, when most self-centred and 
self-satisfied, is almost wholly disinherited. 

Starting with this attitude and perception, we 


1 Mr. Schiller, I think, has taken the same point. I have not the 


see that if our Pilgrim's Progress is adventurous, it 
is beyond a doubt inevitable. To cling to our 
initial standing ground or to strive or pretend 
to do so, for it is not really possible is without any 
question to abide in the City of Destruction. The 
idea of a solid given a personality, a fact, an 
apprehension, which we possess ab initio, and are 
tempted rashly and perversely to abandon in the 
quest of the Absolute, is an illusion which has no 
warrant in vital experience. The road of philo- 
sophical speculation is not the possible way for 
most men, nor the only way for any man ; that is 
true and sound. But in one way and another, in 
labour, in learning, and in religion, every man has 
his pilgrimage to make, his self to remould and to 
acquire, his world and his surroundings to trans- 
form. In sin, too, he does it ; in what way, we 
shall try to see later. We are only attempting, in 
the form of reflection, what every living creature at 
least is doing, one way or another, between birth 
and death. And it is in this adventure, and not 
apart from it, thac we find and maintain the per- 
sonality which we suppose ourselves to possess ab 

Platitudes, it may be said, from some old book 
of hymns or sermons ! " We've no abiding city 
here ! " Why yes, / rather think so. But the odd 
thing is that so much philosophy should be built not 
merely on the denial of them, but on disregard 
of the common and recognised human experience 
which they represent. 

3. We will now rapidly survey some typical some 
illusions, as they appear to me, of what I have 
called the centrifugal type, a negative relation to 


which will help to define the course of our argu- 
ment. And after that we will gather into a few 
propositions the more burning issues of our own 

// gran (i) I hope it may set our thoughts in tune for 
the general aim and method of our argument, if I 
begin by repudiating what seems to me in principle 
il gran rifiuto, the ultimate abnegation, on the part 
of philosophy. I select a passage from a writing 
of Professor William James, whose presence once 
added lustre even to this University, and whose 
teaching was a perpetual stimulus and delight to 
the philosophical world. To be clear and fair, I 
must point out that in this argument James's moral 
was ultimately the same as my own. I find ' the 
great abnegation ' in his applying it as a sound 
criticism upon the normal study of the great philo- 
sophers, and as a ground for a new and different 

Here is the passage. " I wish that I had saved 
the first couple of pages of a thesis which a student 
handed me a year or two ago. They illustrated 
my point so clearly that I am sorry I cannot read 
them to you now. This young man, who was a 
graduate from some Western college, began by say- 
ing that he had always taken for granted that when 
you entered a philosophic class-room you had to 
open relations with a universe entirely distinct from 
the one you left behind you in the street. The two 
were supposed, he said, to have so little to do with 
each other, that you could not possibly occupy 
your mind with them at the same time. The 
world of concrete personal experiences to which the 
street belongs is multitudinous beyond imagination, 


tangled, muddy, painful, and perplexed. The world 
to which your philosophy-professor introduces you 
is simple, clean, and noble. The contradictions of 
real life are absent from it. Its architecture is 
classic. Principles of reason trace its outlines, 
logical necessities cement its parts. Purity and 
dignity are what it most expresses. It is a kind of 
marble temple shining on a hill. In point of fact it 
is far less an account of this actual world than a 
clear addition built upon it, a classic sanctuary in 
which the rationalist fancy may take refuge from the 
intolerably confused and gothic character which mere 
facts present. It is no explanation of our concrete 
universe, it is another thing altogether, a substitute 
for it, a remedy, a way of escape/* and so on. 1 

I remember to have first read this passage 
with an interest that grew more breathless as I 
approached its close, thinking what a magnificent 
opening Professor James's student had given him for 
imparting some first hints of the nature of philo- 
sophy in the hands of the masters, and the condi- 
tions of philosophic study. And I recall my gasp 
of disappointed amazement when I realised that the 
opening was to be left unused, or at best exploited 
in favour of something to be called Pragmatism ; 
that a teacher had actually passed these ideas as 
sound and just, when taken in reference to the 
principal existing philosophies. 2 

Now I presume that in this matter your experi- 

1 James, Pragmatism, p. 21. 

2 It just illustrates the difference between looking at philosophy 
from without and working at it from within, that after some hundreds 
of pages of discussion James finds himself, in essence, affirming the 
view the acceptance of which by Leibniz he began by treating with 
contempt. Cf. Pragmatism^ p. 296. 


ence is the same as mine. When you first come in 
contact with those senior fellow-students who are 
called your professors and lecturers, and you reveal 
to them, intentionally or unintentionally, your feel- 
ing that philosophical systems are foreign to the 
concerns and difficulties of life, I imagine that they 
meet you in a very different way from that above 
suggested. Probably, by one method or another, 
they try to lead you towards the conception that 
the gulf which you complain of is caused by the 
insufficient quantity and quality of the attention 
which you have hitherto been able to bestow upon 
the facts of living, compared with the breadth, 
patience, insight, and sympathy which you are now 
first called upon to devote to them, and which are 
new to you, and demand a considerable effort. 
Naturally, experience when thus approached under- 
goes transformation ; and the language we hold 
about it is modified. And so we begin to have 
gleams of insight into the thought and expression 
of the great men whose breadth, sympathy, and 
understanding of life are to ours Ms the ocean to a 
streamlet. We see how they come to hold a 
language greatly differing from that which we were 
used to before we gave very careful attention to. 
the great issues and predominant facts of life. We 
learn in some degree how any point we take up in 
the tissue of experience opens out into tremendous 
problems and indicates unanticipated depths. We 
begin, as Plato said, to learn the alphabet of the 
ethical or social and ultimately of the metaphysical 
world, 1 Philosophy is the formal embodiment of 

1 Ye can discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern the 
signs of the times ? 



the " penetrative imagination"; 1 it deals with the 
significance of things ; and transforms them, but 
only by intensified illumination. We shall through- 
out repudiate this ultimate abnegation which treats 
the great philosophies as abstractions alien to life. 
It is il gran rifiuto when life ignores and disowns 
its own largest and deepest experiences. The 
phenomenon is a common one, and commoner as 
the great experiences grow greater. 

(2) We shall also meet, with uncompromising "Fact, 
resistance, the attempt to take any form of immedi- a' n d lfe> 
ateness, understood as excluding mediation, for an ^an^er 
absolute and reliable datum, whether in the form of ^medi 
an object of simple apprehension, called by the 
name of fact, or in the form of an indeterminate 
creative impulse called by the name of life, or in the 
form of a subject of experience, impervious and 
isolated, called by the name of self. 

Each and all of these three immediates seems tc 
invite the general criticism which we offered above, 
The solid fact or object of simple perception ; the 
indeterminate living or duration which defies the 
notional grasp ; the isolated personality, impervious 
to the mind of others, seem all of them to mark 
arbitrary refuges or timid withdrawals from the 
movement of the world. What is dreaded in that 
movement may be the critical dispersion of our 
supposed solid TTOV O-T& of fact or self, as in the first 
and third doctrines, or the linkage with a deter- 
minate continuity, the spectre of tout est donn4> 
as in the second. In more ways than one there 
asserts itself the inherent connexion between such 
refuges and withdrawals and true philosophical 

1 Cf. the author's History of Aesthetic^ p. 458. 


pessimism. I mean by this not the mere mood in 
which one mind or another pronounces life not 
worth living, but the argument by which connexion 
is radically severed between real existence and the 
principle of perfection. 1 This applies to the first 
doctrine and the third, which are complementary 
forms of the same ultimate attitude. The second, 
embodying rather a principle of indetermination 
than a determinate discontinuity, carries with it a 
pessimism or a meliorism as the holder's temper 
may demand. 2 

Am I then implying that a true philosopher is 
bound to Optimism, and that the two other attitudes 
are ex hypothesi condemned ? This question, I hope, 
will answer itself in extenso below. To anticipate 
in a few words. The decisive consideration surely is 
that our best and worst are all included in our one 
universe, and we have no means or occasion for 
conceiving another or others in which either could 
be separately present. We can hardly proceed to 
state cases for comparison in respect of good or evil 
until we have a fair insight into % the actual nature 
and connexion of what as we primarily apprehend 
them we call good and evil. To say that we should 
approve a universe in which there was our "good", 
without our "evil" may be merely a ridiculously 
illegitimate hypothesis. But if we have no cases to 
compare, we have no right to use the comparative 
or superlative forms of speech. Our real effort must 

1 Cf. e.g. RusselPs Philosophical Essays, " The Free Man's Wor- 
ship." The view that the judgment of value is not susceptible of 
logical defence, together with the doctrine of the imperviousness and 
isolation of % the self, appear to me to belong ultimately to the same 
position as Mr. RusselFs. 

2 In James's philosophy I seem to see the makings of both. 


be, I am convinced, towards seeing in what the true 
best of our universe, taking account of the worst, 
must consist. It is clear that till we have seen to 
the bottom of this problem, we cannot be equipped 
to pass judgment on the universe, for we do not 
really know what it claims its best to be. If it is 
urged that we must be entitled to judge by our 
current ideas of good and bad, or else the universe 
is a fraud, 1 I agree that our ideas have some value, 
and bear upon the point. But I say that in any 
case we do not know enough to pass judgment 
ultimately ; and I say further that within our actual 
current ideas there is so much room for discrepancy 
(owing to the different attitudes of experience on 
which we have insisted), as to make it evident that 
there is in them a principle of advance which would 
at least lead our judgment very far away from our 
prima facie conceptions. 

What demands our attention is to ascertain what 
we really and self-consistently mean by the best, 
and the current claim to judge the universe is one 
of the immediates Vhich we must repudiate. 

(3) If, then, adhering to immediacy, we commit immediacy 
ourselves to accepting the apparent self as a solid individual- 
starting-point, and demanding for it a distinct fulfil- lsm ' 
ment in part materia, we find ourselves on the 
ground of justice, ethics, teleology. According to 
the plan of this Introduction we will not yet reason 
in detail upon these attitudes and postulates; but 
we may point out that there are modes of experience, 
obvious and dominant in our sense of the term, 
which indicate a modification and transcendence of 
them. Consider what is called Justice. There is 
1 See McTaggart on Mill's saying, Some Dogmas of Religion^ p. 2 1 4. 


hardly a morbid romance but founds its pessimism 
on the wearisome postulate of what it calls justice 
some proportion, that is to say, which is claimed 
as a right, between the given wants and the fortunes 
of man. The note of this mood and temper is the 
reiterated " Why " " Why should A be at a dis- 
advantage when B is not ? " and we feel it to be 
wholly discordant with the temper of the stronger 
souls in whom we delight to recognise the ready 
welcome of differentiation and the insight that even 
the call for endurance is an opportunity. Justice as 
thus demanded- is a principle of compensation for 
being what you are, and cannot have a place in a 
differentiated universe. It would fix and rivet the 
finite member of a world to his finite and given 
being, in opposition to his real power, which is, 
precisely, by means of and through accepting the 
whole involved in the differentiation, to transcend 
his apparent limits. 

So with Ethics and Teleology. We can see 
their value and necessity, but we are obliged also 
to note that they cannot be characters of a whole 
or world, but only of its finite members. Their 
nature is summed up in the paradox "The end is 
progress," and the inconsistency of such a conception 
forces itself upon us in many forms. A teleology 
cannot be ultimate ; it can express nothing but a 
necessity for change founded upon a whole which 
constitutes the situation to be modified, and, in that, 
the need for modification. There is no meaning 
in somebody wishing something, 1 except in view 
of a definite situation which at once suggests and 
prima facie denies his wish. 

1 James, Pragmatism^ pp. 288-9. 

out tension 


We are convinced by daily life, I think, that the 
ethical struggle, justice, and teleology are in place, 
so to speak, only so far as they can be serviceable ; 
as instruments, that is, of the necessary self-assertion 
of the finite mind. When that point is passed, or 
that aspect subordinated, there is room only for love 
and pity, or again for faith and triumph. We feel, 
as we constantly admit, that our judgment of 
morality and of failure is not all there is to be said 
about a man. His value and his reality lie deeper 
than that. 1 Good, we feel, needs and includes the 
ethical struggle, but is much more than it, or the 
struggle itself would be impossible. 

(4) Thus it has always been a fallacy of prima and rules 
facie judgment to split up the tension of real life 
into pure delight and pure misery heaven and hell fectlon 
representing the perfection of experience by the 
former, and absolute failure by the latter. Such a 
conception, as we shall see, is forced to a restoration 
of unity by making the misery of the lost con- 
tributory to the happiness of the saved. All views 
in which pain and struggle are conceived as leading 
up to a happiness from which they are wholly 
excluded, partake of this absurdity. When Plato 
said that neither pleasure nor pain were fit experi- 
ences to be ascribed to divine beings indicating, of 
course, not a neutral state, but something transcend- 
ing the? two he said what represents the obvious 
demand of mind at any tolerably high level. It 
seems plain to me that we are in conflict with 
fundamental necessities of the better life, if we 

1 Every one, I should think, must have had his moral judgment and 
his general estimate of values brought into collision by the 'character 
of Falstaff. We cannot conceive him in hell any more than he 
could himself. Every one knows cases of the kind in real life. 



construe the Absolute as heaven, and reckon it as a 
future of enjoyment crowning the struggle of time. 
Tension and satisfaction may, as we know, be 
immensely modified in character, and to conceive 
them as perfectly fused is beyond our experience ; 
but satisfaction without tension is a thing that reason 
does not suggest and experience does not indicate. 
The direction which man at his best has taken in 
seeking freely for his fullest satisfaction, shows us, in 
the significance of poetical tragedy, something of the 
nature which must attach to a satisfactory experience. 
Of course I do not say that the most perfect tragedy 
is such an experience. I only say, in conformity 
with the anticipatory character of the present 
lecture, that the almost supreme rank occupied by 
it in the achievements of the human mind, is a 
perfectly obvious and highly significant fact, which 
I have never but once seen observed upon in general 
philosophy. 1 If we really think the race is pro- 
gressing to a stage of felicity, in which, without any 
jot of participation in any tragic experience, it is to 
draw from it a painless enjoyment, then I think that 
the doctrine of hell contributing to the pleasures of 
heaven is not far away. 

And the moral of this paragraph and the last 
together is that starting from commonplace ex- 
perience we are always tempted to isolate endeavour 
and fruition, which in all the higher attainments of 
mind (we may instance morality so far as socially 
realised, or aesthetic enjoyment) we find to be 
impossible, and, supposing it possible, ruinous to the 
experience. You cannot, so to speak, believe in 

1 I refer to a passage in Mr. Russell's " Free Man's Worship," 
(Philosophical Essays), with which I am very strongly in sympathy. 


Optimism or Pessimism alone. If you will have a 
pure heaven, you must add a pure hell to complete 
it. If, that is, pain and struggle are not to modify 
and be modified by fruition, they must fall some- 
where by themselves, as a life of Tantalus. 

(5) And thus an opinion, supported by thinkers and thrusts 
for whom I have a profound respect, seems to me lu ^ e 
untenable, the doctrine, that is, that Philosophy Life - 
gives hope, not guidance. 1 

So far as this tenet is a warning against doc- 
trinairism, against looking to philosophy for pre- 
scriptions of practical detail, it seems to me perfectly 
just. But those who have studied the distinguished 
writer who formulates it will be convinced, I think, 
that there is something more general behind. In 
the way we have deprecated above, perfection is 
identified with happiness, as unconditioned by any thing- 
akin to pain, the motive and colour of the doctrine 
has some connection with Hedonism and great 
stress is laid on the probability of its emergence as 
a crowning phenomenon of time. And thus so it 
seems to me We are enticed away from any 
conception of the Absolute as the principle and 
pervading spirit of our world, and from the con- 
viction that the general direction of our higher 
experience is a clue to the direction in which 
perfection has to be sought To put it plainly, we 
are promised a "harmony' 1 that is the "hope" 
which is given ; but on such general grounds and 
in such general terms that the concrete system of 

1 See McTaggart, Studies in Hegelian Cosmology ', Sect. 205 ; 
and A. E. Taylor's Elements of Metaphysic, 357. Professor Taylor 
is referring, I think, especially to the question of the future -life, while 
Mr. McTaggart, in the passage referred to, speaks more generally of 
ideal perfection. 


values, which ought to be immanent as our clue and 
guidance to the conception of the best, is allowed to 
drop out. 1 And this, I think, is due, on the side 
of concrete experience, to the acceptance of too 
immediate a fact ab initio in the construing of the 
ideal to taking pleasure as a type of felt harmony. 
With this clue in mind we necessarily split up our 
experience of life, and omit to employ what is really 
one half of it as a factor in our ideal. And, there- 
fore, we fail to catch the heart-beat of the Absolute 
in our actual world, and to be convinced that the 
things which are best to us are really and in fact 
akin to what is best in the universe ; that their 
fundamental tendencies are discoverable by the study 
of our surroundings ; and in ultimate reality, though 
modified in the direction indicated, are not reversed. 
Some 4. I will draw towards a conclusion by indicating 

points! * n a f ew positive propositions, still by way of 
description and anticipation, the critical points of the 
attitude which I shall endeavour to maintain as 
conformable to our sane and central experiences. 
And in these, intending to devefop them technically 
later on, I shall strive for plainness even at the cost 
of exaggeration. 

what (i) The principal thing that matters is the 

mMa* level and fulness of mind attained. The destiny 

such. anc j se p ara t:e conservation of particular minds is of 

inferior importance and merely instrumental to the 

former. 2 

1 This is not a mere difference of mood and humour. I believe 
this author's treatment of the Dialectic to be one-sided in this respect. 
See Review of McTaggart's Commentary on HcgePs Logic; Mind, 
January 191 1. 

2 Of course experience involves being " lived " by some being. 
But this is quite different from saying that .finite persons are ultimate 


This conviction we shall later attempt to draw 
out in argument. But I am sure that it is deeply 
rooted in the e very-day mind at its best, though 
liable to be overriden by conventions which have 
nothing like the same reality. What a man really 
cares about so it seems to me may be described 
as making the most of the trust he has received. 
He does not value himself as a detached and purely 
self-identical subject. He values himself as the in- 
heritor of the gifts and surroundings which are 
focussed in him, and which it is his business to 
raise to their highest power. 1 The attitude of a 
true noble, one in whom noblesse oblige, is a simple 
example of what mutatis mutandis all men feel. 
The man is a representative, a trustee for the world, 
of certain powers and circumstances. And this 
cannot fail to be so. For suffering and privation 
are also opportunities. The question for him is 
how much he can make of them. This is the 
simple and primary point of view, and also, in 
the main, the true and fundamental one. It is not 
the bare personality or the separate destiny that 
occupies a healthy mind. It is the thing to be 
done, known, and felt ; in a word, the complete- 
ness of experience, his contribution to it, and his 
participation in it. 

At every point the web of experience is con- 
tinuous ; he cannot distinguish his part from that of 

values. To identify the conservation of values with the permanence 
or survival of given personalities, as Professor Varisco appears to me 
to do, is to my mind an extraordinary assumption. 
1 Cf. the Poets' Chorus in " Paracelsus " : 
" Yet we chose thee a birthplace 
Where the richness ran to flowers ; 
Couldst not sing one song for grace, 
Not make one blossom man's and ours ? " 


others, and the more he realises the -continuity the 
less he cares about the separateness of the contribu- 
tion to it. 1 Sometimes it seems to amount to an 
accident who in particular becomes the mouthpiece 
and obtains the credit of knowledge and ideas 
current in certain circles or professions ; and it may 
frequently be felt, both by himself and by others, 
that the one who does so is neither the main 
originator nor the one best fitted to be the ex- 
pounder. 2 It is impossible to overrate the co- 
operative element in experience. And its import- 
ance has a considerable bearing on what we are apt 
to call the problem of unfulfilled promise. By 
unnoticed contributions to the common mind, very 
much is preserved which seems to have perished, 
and in some cases perhaps the half has been more 
than the whole. 

The passion of love may be instanced against 
these ideas. Here, even though we argue that the 
one who loves rather merges than insists on his own 
particular being, yet surely the particular being of 
the loved object is the very core and centre of the 
emotion. Its destiny, its permanence, even its 
unchanged immortality, seems to matter more than 
anything in the universe. Just so ; as in all the 
higher levels of experience, some particular person- 
ality becomes important by what it embodies. That 
is quite obvious ; and the fact that passionate love, 
as the engrossing relation of two personalities, 

1 " If we could energise a great deal more continuously than most 
of us can, we might experience physical death literally without being 
aware of it." Nettleship's Philosophical Remains, i. 90. 

2 The case typified by Arthur Hallam is, I believe, in essentials 
exceedingly common ; that is, that men who are considerable origin- 
ators, and influence a wide circle, are prevented from producing, and 
reach the world only as components of other personalities. 


seizes on and- kindles into flame all that they con- 
tain, is really a document of the value that comes 
to a particular being when it throws itself whole- 
heartedly outside itself. The thing has a side of 
utter selfishness and ownership ; but it is when this 
is burnt away that the greatness of the experience 
begins. A particular is all-important to each ; but 
this particular is not his own particularity, but 
another's ; and, moreover, it is no longer to him a 
particular, but takes on the value of a world. It is 
this that the desire of eternity really signifies, and 
with this comes a transformation. A great writer has 
said that hate, like fire, makes any rubbish deadly ; 
and it is no less true that love, like fire, makes the 
poorest things splendid. It is almost, one might 
say, the absolute in propria persona. 

At any rate, this is one observation which seems 
central both in life and in theory, that the level or 
quality of mind, and not the destiny of its centres, is 
the main thing the principal value. 

(2) The same principle, in rather more technical Logic the 
form, amounts to this, that Logic, or the spirit of value. f 
totality, is the clue to reality, value, and freedom. 

The key to this principle is to be found in all 
that connects the satisfactoriness of experiences 
with their stability or power of self -maintenance, 
and both with the nature of creative initiative. 
Creative initiative is obviously, under the form of 
change, what stability and self -maintenance are 
under the form of duration. The desire to liberate 
the initiative of mind from pre-existing conditions 
sometimes goes so far that it seems to forget that 
an inference after all a typical act of mina must 
have data or premisses to issue from, and that, eg., 


the creation of a work of art is null and worthless if 
it does not involve an apprehension or fore-feeling 
of just that coexistent unity which makes it when 
completed the very type of a logical whole. The 
logical spirit, the tendency of parts to self-transcend- 
ence and absorption in wholes, is the birth-impulse 
of initiative, as it is the life-blood of stable exist- 
ence. And the degree in which this spirit is incar- 
nate in any world or system is one with the value, 
the satisfactoriness and reality by which such a 
system must be estimated, as also with the creative 
effort, by which it must be initiated. 1 

The (3) The "good" of the universe must be such as 

of g aw d orid. belongs to a world and not to the member of one. 

This observation seems fundamental. It is very 
evident in so comparatively simple a question as 
that of morality in the particular person and in the 
state. The member of a world, relative or absolute, 
is conditioned by his world, and his task presup- 
poses it. His world, itself relatively or absolutely 
the ultimate condition of things, has an altogether 
different task. It has to sustain within it all the 
organs and conditions necessary to constitute a 
world. The member of a world is conditioned by 
his surroundings, which set his task ; the world is 
the condition both of the individual and of his task. 
His good is prescribed by his relation to his task, 
his dealing with his surroundings. Its "good" 
cannot conceivably be the same as his. Its "good" 
must include making his "good " possible ; and if it 
could be " good " through and through, in the sense 

1 I attach great importance in this range of thought to what we 
learn from reflection upon art and poetry, and, I may add, in the 
discussion of our de facto apprehension of the absolute, to what we 
learn from the theory of the sublime. 


in which he 'is expected to be good, his goodness 
would not be possible. We expect it to be rather 
the birthplace and theatre, or more the including 
totality of goodness, than itself of the precise 
nature of what we primarily call good. Its excel- 
lency is rather to be great in its possibilities, beyond 
the reaches of the finite soul, so that this may 
always find more than it can master; may always 
find more than scope for its utmost effort and its 
utmost worship. 1 We could not, it may be sug- 
gested, possibly be satisfied in a universe in which 
we could be content which simply ministered to 
our "goodness," letting us sin, endure, and aspire 
slightly, so that we could see clearly it was all 
calculated for our good. We should then feel our- 
selves, in our finiteness, the lords and masters, 
because sole purpose, of the world, which would 
exist simply to make us feel good. And we should 
be miserable, and the end would not be attained, for 
we should have nothing greater than our finite 
selves to contemplate. We want something above 
us, something to 'make us dare and do and hope to 
be. We are finite, which means incomplete, and 
not fitted to be absolute ends. 2 

1 The world which we began by speaking of was the State. Will 
any of this language, it will be asked, apply to it ? Is it not a mere 
contrivance, easily worked and easily seen through ? Any one who 
believes this must be puzzled, I think, by the apparent fecundity of 
difficulty and evil in socio-political matters. The fact is, it has to 
deal with a whole nest of lives and their surroundings, and these in- 
volve greatness and conflicts of all kinds. It has to maintain such 
a system of life as will permit of the development of many-sided 
excellence within it. 

2 Cf. Browning : 

" Oh, dread succession to a dizzy post, 

Sad sway of sceptre whose mere touch appals, 
Ghastly dethronement, cursed by those the most 
On whose repugnant brow the crown next falls." 


Goodness, in other words, we know, cannot be 
the moral end. If we make it so, it loses its con- 
tent and collapses into nothingness. 1 The world 
that conditions our goodness must not exist merely 
for our goodness* sake, but must subordinate it to 
some concrete need or nature. A world's excellence 
must include its members', and have a relation, or 
sort of kinship, to it ; but must be of the nature 
of a greatness that goes beyond and sustains it. 
The great- (4) The universe is not a place of pleasure, nor 
souis even a place compounded of probation and justice ; 
it is, from the highest point of view concerned with 
finite beings, a place of soul-making. 

Our best experience carries us without hesitation 
thus far. We see for ourselves that mere pleasure, 
or the mere sense of moral desert and adjustment of 
consequences to it, take in but little of what has 
value for the fully capable mind, though both, of 
course, take in some of it. We may call in evidence 
history or science, poetry or politics, social life or 
religion. It is the moulding and the greatness of 
souls that we really care for. * 

This observation has to be reconciled with what 
we said above as to the relative values of the parti- 
cularity of the particular centres of mind compared 
with the level of mind as such. But this reconcilia- 
tion, which must occupy us more fully later on, is 
not in principle difficult. The destiny or conserva- 
tion, we said, of particular centres is not what 
primarily has value, and here we say nothing to 
conflict with this. What has value is the contribu- 
tion which the particular centre a representative of 
certain elements in the whole brings to the whole 

1 Cf. Green, Prolegomena^ Sect. 247. 


in which it is a member. Its particularity, as we 
shall see, is connected with its special contribution. 
But the value of the particularity is indirect, and 
depends on what it helps to realise. 1 

It will be urged that " making*' or " moulding 1 ' 
presupposes time and succession, and so we should 
stand committed to the reality of these. But this 
will not disturb us. We can have no doubt that 
there is time in the Absolute. It is a further ques- 
tion whether, and if at all, in what sense, the 
Absolute is in time. 

(5) Lastly, we experience the Absolute better we have 
than we experience anything else. This is our Absolute 
answer to the question, are we finite beings in any 
way or degree to possess or enjoy the Absolute, or 
does this depend on some such question as whether 
there is a future life ; and is the Absolute related to 
us as heaven to an orthodox Christian ? 

The answer is fundamental for our convictions, 
and is already decided by our attitude to the 
stability of our starting-point. We all of us experi- 
ence the Absolut5, because the Absolute is in every- 
thing. And as it is in everything we do or suffer, we 
may even say that we experience it more fully than 
we experience anything else, especially as one pro- 
found characteristic runs through the whole. And 
that is, that the world does not let us alone; it 
drives us from pillar to post, 2 and the very chapter 
of accidents, as we call it, confronts us with an 
extraordinary mixture of opportunity and suffering, 
which is itself opportunity. 

1 Cp. the whole poem, " It is not growing like a tree " 
2 " Rejoice that man is hurled 

From change to change unceasingly 

His souPs wings never furled." BROWNING. 


Of course we do not habitually call this power 
within which we live "the absolute/ 1 And wholly 
unreflective minds, we may suppose, are hardly 
aware of any general characteristic in life pointing 
to a unity, such that it is at once something which is 
too many for them, and something which gives them 
wonderful chances. But the fact is there, and is 
there for them, though it may be only distributed 
through their perceptions, and never reflected on as 
a general fact. We all have, in truth, to recognise 
something absolute both within 1 and without our- 
selves ; an external power prima facie too strong 
for us, and yet responding to our destinies and pass- 
ing into us as an inward power now more and now 
less than equal to the external surroundings. If we 
refuse to find absoluteness even in love, or in any- 
thing but the minimum of positive fact, and say 
therefore that our only absolute is death, 2 yet even 
that is a power which, primarily hostile and external, 
an accident of nature, we can make our own and an 
expression of our will, by self-sacrifice, or by resig- 
nation, or in a sense by suicide. 3 *A being who can 
determine not to live the animals below man, it is 
said, never so determine has hold of something 
which is more to him than every possible thing.. 
And in this he gives this something, undefined as it 

1 Such a phrase as "absolute certainty" is constantly n,sed by 
people who would shrink from the recognition of an absolute. 

2 "Me non oracula certum 
Sed mors certa facit " 

8 <c Glad did I live and gladly die, 

And I laid me down with a will." 

In suicide there is not the full union of self and not-self. We do not 
unite with necessity but borrow its form to clothe our self-will. It is 
the child's " Then I won't play." I do not say it cannot be right. 


may be, the value of an Absolute, of a not-self which 
is more himself than his actual self is. 

The argument, it may appear, would be simpler 
and truer if it were the fact that we all, under the 
discipline of life, 1 became obviously wiser and better, 
like pupils in a school with no percentage of failures. 
As a fact, too many of us seem to deteriorate. But, 
as we hinted above, " it takes all sorts to make a 
world ; " and if we could be at ease in Zion, and see 
every one virtuous and prima facie contented, we 
could never, I think, be satisfied. It is only by the 
conjunction of what is quite beyond us with what is 
deep within us that the open secret of the Absolute 
confronts us in life, in love, and in death. 

5. It is in agreement with the clue given 2 by intended 
experiences like these, which I venture to call the r iec- f 
obvious, central, and sane experiences, that I shall tures - 
try to set out, in logical connection, during the 
present session, the foundations and demands of the 
principle of Individuality, and, during the following 
one, the straightforward and " higher obvious" view 
of the worth and ciestiny of finite individuals. 

In the present course, then, we shall be dealing, 
for the earlier part, with the principle of Individu- 
ality considered as the immanent criterion of the 
real, and also in its relation to inferior forms of the 
logical universal, such as general law, uniformity of 
nature, and directive teleology in evolution. In 
connection with these discussions the bodily side of 
mind and the rank of finite consciousness as a teleo- 

1 " Machinery just meant 

To give thy soul its bent, 
Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed." 

2 " With the clue given " only of course all experiences have a 
right to recognition in their place. 


logical agency will fall to be considered, and a good 
deal of logical technique will be unavoidable. And 
in the latter part we shall speak of the same prin- 
ciple as the key to the character of value in the real, 
and to the freedom or initiative of its members, as 
also to its immanent structure, and its mode of in- 
clusion of nature and the finite self. 

The results, I give fair warning, will be nothing 
in any way startling or extraordinary. We shall, 
on the whole, express and define, I believe, the 
reasonable faith of resolute and open-minded men. 
The outside of what I could hope to achieve would 
be sometimes to insist in words on what they think 
too obvious to be said, and, by attempting a 
thorough - going logical connection of what is 
immanent in all the sides of experience, to establish 
that a sane and central theory is not full of oddities 
and caprices, but is a rendering, in coherent 
thought, of what lies at the heart of actual life and 



WE are in the habit of thinking that we have raised universal 
the level of our experience when we have discovered general 
anything that approaches a general rule. And it is rule ' 
true that prima facie we have done so. We have 
relied on the principle of community or continuity 
in experience. That is to say, we have followed 
some conjunction of properties beyond the case in 
which we first found them conjoined, and have 
trusted it to hold good under conditions other than 
those under which we first came upon it. In doing 
this we have pursued the tendency on which all 
knowledge depenc/s the tendency of experience to 
be " universal " ; that is to say, to carry us beyond 
any given piece of itself by exhibiting a character 
which throws light upon further and different con- 
texts, and receives light from them. It is needless 
to give examples ; every general statement, applying 
a single predicate to a number of different cases, is 
an instance in point. 

Further, in doing this we have made an appreci- 
able advance towards the ideal of truth ; that is, 
towards a rendering of experience which shall be 
free from self-contradiction free, I mean, from 
different interpretations of the same facts in the 



same relations. Every general rule, in so far as it 
includes within a single interpretation an area of 
experience which might have been discordantly 
apprehended, decreases the possibility of such a dis- 
crepancy, and is, therefore, so far as it goes, a move- 
ment towards the completion of knowledge as a 
coherent whole. The instinct or impulse which 
thus far we appear to take as our guide is apt to 
express itself in some such formula as "Same 
causes, same effects," or more generally, "It is the 
same that produces the same." 1 And this some- 
times passes for the characteristic principle of know- 
ledge and intelligence a principle depending on 
repetition of similars 2 and the recognition of them 
as they recur. But we have said enough to show 
that from the very beginning this conception is 
untrue. Even the baldest generality has its value 
in the differences of context which it includes and 
which it illuminates. What the real principle of in- 
telligence is we shall see as we develop this charac- 
teristic in a region beyond mere generality. 
Defects of i. But the abstract generalisation, considered 
with reference to truth, has defects which were 
sufficiently signalised in the very dawn of logical 
theory by Plato's critical estimate of the exact or 
mathematical sciences. And, following him, almost 
all considerable thinkers have pointed out that a 
body of knowledge, if understood in the senSe of a 
body of highly abstract rules and inferences, must 
be said prima facie to depart from what is given in 
experience, and truth, if taken in a similar sense, to 

1 Bergson, Devolution, p. 49, " II faut le meme pour obtenir le 
mme." Cf. p. 17?, " ^intelligence rejette toute creation." 

2 Ibid. p. 49, " Notre action . . . ne peut se mouvoir que parmi 
les repetitions." See author's Logic^ 2nd ed., Book ii. 174 if. 


abandon fact. 1 . It is History, we are even told, by 
what I take to be a rash interpretation of this 
familiar doctrine, to which we must look for the type 
of living experience. Or, in a " new philosophy," 
we may be referred to an "intuition, 11 the very 
existence of which in its purity seems a doubtful 
assumption. These, I repeat, are to my mind rash 
interpretations. But they point to something which 
is common ground. For better or worse, the his- 
torical tense, the genuinely personal subject, the 
point of departure which we indicate by such terms 
as "this" and "mine," are unknown to the pro- 
cesses of science. A general statement is an extract 
or an abstract. It has even been called hypo- 
thetical. Certainly it is not in the fullest sense cate- 
gorical. Its terms are not, as they stand, affirmed 
to be actual reality. It tells us things about reality ; 
it points out consequences which must flow from the 
application to it of specified conditions. It does not 
pretend to speak of real beings in their whole and 
fundamental nature. That is to judge categorically 
in the full sense ; to make assertions regarding the 
nature of the universe as a whole. And this can be 
done, if at all, by Philosophy alone. For Philo- 
sophy is essentially of the concrete and the whole, 
as science is essentially of the abstract and the part. 
It may be said, then, with some degree of truth, 
that science deals with experienced existence at 
secondhand. It " murders to dissect." The impu- 
tation, as we pointed out, is an old one, and is not, 
of course, in truth, a hostile impeachment, but a 

1 Bradley's Principles of Logic^ e.g. 92-3. I assume that the 
highest segment of Plato's divided line is to be interpreted *as imply- 
ing a return to the concrete, from which the second highest has 



simple recognition of the functions of science and of 
its rank in a logical system. For this reason, if 
taken as the exclusive basis of a world -theory, 
science will always be open to the criticism which 
has recently been launched against mechanical 
theories of evolution. But also, it is false to argue 
as if a mechanical theory could contribute nothing 
to the construction and apprehension of the whole. 
Mathematical reasoning itself is synthetic, and in 
the continuity of experience all combinations, how- 
ever homogeneous their elements, can reveal new 
properties, stand in relation with new qualities, and 
throw light upon their nature. The geometrical 
character of any line is continuous with and essential 
to the significance which it bears in the most con- 
crete work of art. 

The principle of Abstraction has often been 
criticised as it is embodied in the traditional doctrine 
of Extension and Intension. It is enough to glance 
at the tree of Porphyry to see whither such a doc- 
trine must lead. The most general knowledge 
that which continues into wider comprehensiveness 
such a series as Man, Animal, Organism, Material 
body must obviously be the least instructive, and 
must have its climax in complete emptiness. 

It is, indeed, the same reason which compels the 
progressive generalisation to diminish the depth of 
knowledge, and which forbids the general rule at 
any stage whatever to deal with the whole of a con- 
crete subject, or, as it was phrased above, to be 

And this underlying reason is to be found in the 
attempt to cut in two the essential principle of con- 
tinuity. The endeavour of the simple generalisation 


is to pursue an identity apart from differences. Its 
method, therefore, is omission. The generality is 
framed by attending to the common qualities of a 
number of individuals, and disregarding their dif- 
ferences. This procedure has two inevitable results. 
It prohibits the consideration of any world or struc- 
ture of which the individuals before us are members, 
and by the same necessity it prohibits the considera- 
tion of the entire or concrete nature of any individual 
by itself. These two consequences are inevitable, 
because, so long as identity is construed as excluding 
diversity, no world or structure can be constituted 
by the identical properties of individuals. Indi- 
viduals taken per se as members of a class in virtue 
of identical properties are ex hypothesi parts or 
members of a whole of repetition, and, so far, of no 
other kind of whole whatever. And each individual 
of those so taken can be considered only in respect 
of the property in virtue of which it is a member of 
the class. The differences within that property 
itself, and those which constitute the whole remain- 
ing content of the individual nature, are ruled out ab 
initio by the method. While we are faithful to such 
a conception there can be no thought of a whole of 
individuals, and, for the same reason, none of an 
individual as a whole. The general statement is 
restricted to affirming the property or properties 
repeated within each similar member of the class ; 
and their membership of a concrete system, either 
constituted by their fellows of the class, as in the 
world of humanity, or by groups of dissimilar units, 
as in the reciprocally dependent organisms of a 
locality, is forbidden to appear as a source of 'further 
knowledge about them. 


We have, here in fact, the relation of classifica- 
tion by resemblance to grouping by reciprocal deter- 
mination. The former might be compared to the 
attempt to explain a human body or a steam-engine 
by classifying the parts of each in terms of their 
resemblances to one another. The latter would be 
typified by the way in which the function of the 
whole system is accounted for by the co-operation 
and division of labour due to the different structures 
and qualities of its constituent members. And it is 
important to notice that the former mode of con- 
sideration, however serviceable for certain purposes, 
is essentially due to a superficial application of the 
very same principle which is more fully realised 
in the latter. The identification, for example, of 
Plato's Forms with " the objective correlates of class- 
concepts" would render it absolutely impossible 
to conceive them as a world of interdependent 
members, such as is implied in the Form of the 
Good, and in the conception of a universe of reality. 

It must be added, to avoid misunderstanding, 
that we are not reducing the precise determinations 
of science, for example, the law of gravitation, to 
the level of commonplace class-predications resting 
on superficial observation. 

What we are affirming comes to this, that if, by 
an inadequate theory, the function of the former 
is interpreted as merely to recognise a common 
attribute in its recurrent examples, to apprehend 
" the same producing the same/ 1 then such a reduc- 
tion is erroneously effected, and the operation of 
scientific principles in leading to novelty whether 
of truth or of practice is made wholly unintelligible. 

2. The endeavour to remove contradiction in 


experience is 'therefore more successful when it 
explicitly assumes a further shape, such as is indicated 
by the term "a whole of parts," "an organism," "a universal > 
system," or more generally " a world." 

At present we are only desirous to grasp the 
principle of the distinction between all these forms 
of experience, on the one hand, and the abstract 
generality, on the other ; and it is not necessary to 
enter upon the differences between these several 
conceptions themselves. 1 The most inclusive of 
the terms above-mentioned is " world" or "cosmos." 
A world or cosmos is a system of members, such 
that every member, being ex hypothesi distinct, 
nevertheless contributes to the unity of the whole 
in virtue of the peculiarities which constitute its 
distinctness. And the important point for us at 
present is the difference of principle between a world 
and a class. It takes all sorts to make a world ; a 
class is essentially of one sort only. In a word, 
the difference is that the ultimate principle of unity 
or community is fully exemplified in the former, 
but only superficially in the latter. The ultimate 
principle, we may say, is sameness in the other ; 2 
generality is sameness in spite of the other ; 
universality is sameness by means of the other. 

Thus the true embodiment of the logical universal 
takes the shape of a world whose members are 
worlds. "Whose members are worlds" for the 
same reason which made it inevitable for the mere 
generality to be defective by the omission of 
contents which differentiate the class-members from 

1 See Taylor, Elements of Metaphysic^ p. 96. * 

2 The principle will be defended when we come to speak of the 
criterion of truth and reality. 


one another. The universal in the form of a world 
refers to diversity of content within every member, 
as the universal in the form of a class neglects it. 
Such a diversity recognised as a unity, a macrocosm 
constituted by microcosms, 1 is the type of the 
concrete universal. 

1 It is the opinion of distinguished recent thinkers that in such a 
macrocosm the numbers of microcosms may be actually endless, and 
that, within every microcosm the complexity of detail may be endless 
also (see e.g. Taylor, Elements of Metaphysic^ bk. xi., ii. 5 and iv. 
10). I cannot understand how this is compatible with the deter- 
minate self-containedness of a truly infinite whole, unless we are 
speaking of appearances, such as space and time, which through 
their imperfection suggest an endless series. Could the solution of 
our difference lie here ? viz., that a true infinite gives rise to an 
appearance of endless variety in so far as it is interpreted exclusively 
through characteristics inadequate to the whole? Cf. Appearance 
and Reality ', p. 290, " In its isolation as a phenomenon Nature is 
both finite and infinite, and so proclaims itself untrue." It is almost 
as if you were always losing your place in a book and so reading its 
pages ad infinitum in different combinations, with some repetition. 
Cf. LogiC) 2nd ed., i. 163. You never get out of the series, because you 
never get nearer the whole. But the important matter, on which as 
I understand we are agreed, is that even if the true infinite include 
endlessness, yet endlessness is not enough to constitute a true 

And, though incompetent to estimate the doctrine of self-repre- 
sentative series I may venture a remark, which seems to me relevant, 
on the tendency to take it as a type of infinity. It is so taken, as I 
gather, not because of its endlessness, but because of its self-determina- 
tion. Well and good ; let it be granted that proper parts similar to the 
whole constitute self-representation. But in truly typical infinite wholes, 
the self-representation is present in a way curiously analogous to that 
involved in the series in question, but characteristically different. In 
a sense, the differentiated organ or spiritual element of a true infinite 
does contain or repeat the structure of the whole, not, hovyever, by a 
one-to-one correspondence of terms, but by a differentiated response to 
organic necessities. A great country does not represent itself by 
mapping itself on a portion of its surface, but by developing, say, a 
university at one point, a church at another, a manufacturing town 
at a third. All these are proper parts repeating the whole structure 
of the whole, and a good deal could be done to show in detail how 
this is true. But it would not, of course, be a one-to-one corre- 
spondence of terms. A mind, again, does not represent itself by 
thinking over its thoughts ad infinitum^ but by the varied " thought, 
word, and deed " in each and all of which its nature becomes incarnate. 


The recognition of this logical form as the true 
type of universality is the key to all sound 
philosophy. It is possible, indeed, that even in 
face of such a recognition those philosophers may 
prove to hold the more suitable language who deny 
that thought can ever be one with the real. But at 
any rate, we are bound to follow thought as it 
obviously develops itself towards a higher vitality 
and a fuller perfection, in the certainty that if it is 
itself a vanishing form, it will point us the way to 
what lies beyond, and when necessary, introduce us 
to its nature. We may be told that there are other 
sides of experience to be developed, and we must 
not assume that by following the development of 
thought we are on the road to perfection. A warn- 
ing like this sounds well before we have begun to 
feel the pulse of experience at all ; but it really rests 
on the false pre-supposition that we have different 
minds in different activities of mind. If we view 
experience bona fide, and follow where its connec- 
tions lead us, noting the relation of incompleteness to 
completeness in all the responses of mind, it does 
not matter from what point we start. It is like 
going up a hill ; you only need to keep ascending, 
and you must reach the top. You cannot study 
thought and not be led to will and feeling, nor will or 
feeling and not be led back to thought. 

The concrete universal may be contrasted with 
the general rule as a centre of radii compared with 
a superficial area. The test of universality which it 
imposes is not the number of subjects which share 

In both cases what might be serial protrusions are turned % back into 
self-contained organs, and what would, if unsatisfied, set up an end- 
lessness, if satisfied, finds a home to rest in, and maintains its whole 


a common predicate, but rather than this, the 
number of predicates 1 that can be attached to a 
single subject. It is the degree in which a systematic 
identity subordinates diversity to itself, or, more 
truly, reveals itself as the spirit of communion and 
totality, within which identity and difference are 
distinguishable but inseparable points of view. The 
account of a judgment whose subject is a proper 
name, in Mr. Bradley's, 2 or any similar Logic, is a 
good introduction to what is meant by a concrete 
universal. 3 
and is one 3. We said that the key to all sound philosophy 

with the ...... . 11-1 

individual, lies in taking the concrete universal, that is, the 

individual, as the true type of universality. We are 
towards a o f ten to \ fa^t the individual cannot be made by a 

cosmos ? ' 

combination of universals. 4 It is true that it cannot 
be made by a combination of generalities, but the 
reason is that it is itself the superior and the only 
true type of universal. 

But, it may be objected, assuming that this is so, 
that the tendency of experience to carry us from one 
step to another is universality*, and that such a 
tendency in its fulfilment leads us not to general 
rules, but to a construction of macrocosm and 

1 The expression serves to explain the general nature of the 
contrast. It is not meant that number is a real test, though it may 
be a consequence, of richness and completeness of being. 

2 Principles of Logic^ p. 6 1 . 

8 The universal, as possessed by the mind, is essentially a system 
or habit of self-adjusting response or reaction, whether automatic or 
in thought, over a certain range of stimulation. An acquired skill such 
as that of a cricketer, is a good example. Thus resemblance is quite 
an inadequate category for it. It deals quite equally with difference. 
So that I cannot at all accept Mr. Lindsay's dictum in his work on 
Bergson, p. 228. "The difference (between A and A' in induction) 
must for our purpose be ignored." Adjustment to the difference is 
the whole point. See author's Logic> 2nd ed., ii. 1 84. 

4 E.g. Schiller, Humanism, 123-6. 


microcosms, why, nevertheless, should we respect 
this result? Why should we consider that the 
structure so developed partakes of being and of 
trueness, as Plato might tell us, and is something 
more than a castle in Spain ? 

The argument courted by such an objection must 
always be the same in essence, but may begin from 
either end of the process which it analyses. 

(i) It may point out, on the one hand, that to The whole 
doubt is to assert a ground for doubting, and that 
the tendency of the logical progression, however 
far from fulfilment, is " to leave no room for doubt " ; 
that is to say, to organise experience in such a way 
that at whatever point you may try to pick up a 
positive content and push it against the system, you 
will be shown that the effort is anticipated, and only 
takes you back into the system itself. This is to 
appeal to the principle that truth or reality is the 
whole. According to this, the reason why you 
cannot contradict the truth is that it leaves outside 
it no TroO <7Toi on which a contradiction could be 
" grounded." V?e shall in effect be illustrating 
this point when we deal below with the/0ze#r of the 
concrete universal its capacity in the way of 
unifying experience. I may, however, be permitted 
to adduce an elementary example of the process and 
principle I have in mind. 

How could a competent astronomer meet the 
doubt expressed by a child, whether in a first or 
second childhood, who should deny en bloc the 
revelations of astronomy, and who should say that 
the Sun and Stars were in fact here would come 
his difficulty, but, let us suppose him to urge, just 
about what they look like to the naked eye ? I take 


it that so long as the doubt remained indefinite it 
would not be possible to deal with it directly. You 
cannot force such a sceptic to follow a scientific 
construction. The doubter, even if a child, is 
already aware that there is some kind of method 
which professes to get step by step to the result 
which he distrusts. It is just this method which his 
indefinite doubt refuses to follow. To him it is all 
artificial talk, which he cannot see any point in. 
He refuses to believe that you can go from step to 
step in the mode which science adopts. His doubt, 
if arrested at this point, amounts to refusing to 
commit himself, and defying the astronomer to draw 
him on beyond the mere momentary spectacle of 
the heavens. It is the scepticism which, if con- 
sistent, would be inert and dumb. 

A doubt of this type has no material ground 
against the system of experience. It has, perhaps, 
a certain prima facie formal ground, in the immense 
apparent interval between first appearances and the 
results of science. But this, again, unless formulated, 
is no ground at all ; and if formulated would stand 
on the same basis as any material allegation against 
the system of science. 

Now if the doubter makes a positive allegation*, 
whether material or formal, in support of his 
scepticism, then at once he is lost. If you say, the 
sun is a lantern, lit up every morning and put out at 
night, or the stars are holes in a sort of dish cover, 
through which the light beyond shines through, 
then, I presume, the competent astronomer has you 
in his power. You have given a rival interpretation 
of the appearances. You have picked up a frag- 
ment of experience which you are attempting to 


push against* the system of sciences, a something 
which you treat as outside it and as thus destroying 
its universality. In doing so, however, you acknow- 
ledge universality as the test ; you are no longer 
rejecting the system in toto, but are calling upon it 
to alter itself, and admit your interpretation into its 
texture. But, so far as it is the whole, the system 
can reply : " We know all that already ; we already 
possess your interpretation, but in a shape which 
effects the object implied in every interpretation of 
appearances, which, in the shape you gave it, it failed 
to do. You wanted, of course, to connect your 
vision of the starry heavens with other experiences 
and ideas so as to express what it was for you in the 
completest way. But we possess the experiences 
which you used for that purpose, together with an 
enormous mass of others. And we can show you 
that by using them as you did it is impossible to 
attain the complete expression you desired, because 
in that way they cannot be united with the full 
appearances in question, or with the mass of other 
experience. On the other hand, we can show you 
a set of connections which will at all events draw 
out the nature of your experience very much more 
completely and in far greater union with the rest of 
experience. We can show you that you were only 
attempting imperfectly and in confusion what is 
here, at least comparatively, perfect and complete." 
The main line of the argument is familiar from Plato 
downwards. But I have modified it so as to 
emphasise that side of its implication which consists 
in the principle that "the truth may be defined as 
the whole. n The whole is the truth, because if you 
doubt indefinitely you advance nothing against it ; 


if you attempt to push forward a contrary, you 
agree that " something is," and you can be shown 
that your something is already contained in the 
system against which you have advanced it. 

But (2) we may begin at the other end of the 
process, and analyse its inmost nature under the 
!rhoii or h ea d of the criterion. I am not introducing this 
subject for its own logical interest, but merely, in 
the treatment of the concrete universal, to point out 
that the appeal to " the whole " is not a detached 
or arbitrary procedure, but the same thing with the 
principle otherwise known as the principle of non- 

The essence of the matter, as I understand it, is 
simply the determinate development of the character 
of being. We have the inevitable line of thought 
definitely traced in Plato in almost any of the 
great dialogues, and still more strikingly and funda- 
mentally in the whole evolution of his logical theory 
taken together. And we have it, if with defective 
detail, yet substantially on an incontrovertible basis, 
in Hegel's Dialectic. I will venture to state it in a 
few plain sentences. What is, is by determinate 
self-maintenance. There is no meaning in "it is" 
apart from "it is what it is." It acts, or possesses 1 
predicates, and its action or its predicates are "what 
it is." Now there is a sound sense, as Plato is 
careful to explain, in which "is" and "is not" can 
and must be united in the determination of the same 
content. But in as far as "is" affirms a certain 
determinate self-maintenance and " is not " affirms 
a different one, or the character of otherness in 
general, so far to attach the two as predicates to the 
same point of being is to allege that in its self- 


maintenance at fails to maintain itself. This is so 
far to destroy the character of being as an expres- 
sion for any positive experience. It is to posit and 
to annul in the same act. In so far then, as an 
experience presents an appearance of. this kind, a 
combination of "is" and "is not "(or "is other") 
without any distinction in the subject of affirmations, 
it falls short of the character of being. We cannot 
hold that " it is " in the strict sense of the term. It 
undoes itself; and fails to conserve itself in any 
actual character. In as far, on the other hand, as 
the appearance of hostility to self is removed, by 
transforming the content of experience in question 
into what is relatively a system, such as to accept 
both this and the other as co-operative and no 
longer conflicting members, the experience "ts" in 
a higher degree ; its self-maintenance includes more 
of reality ; and is pro tanto less likely to be con- 
fronted with external facts beyond its power to 
assimilate. This is the process which Plato indi- 
cates in Republic v. Everyday experience, he 
says in effect, tumbles backwards and forwards 
between "is" and "is not." To-day a thing is 
experienced as beautiful, to-morrow, in another 
light or in another mood, as ugly. This minute we 
pronounce a thing large ; the next minute we have 
turned to compare it with something else, and we 
pronounce it small. This is because the beauty we 
judge by in the first case, and the magnitude we 
judge by in the second, are fragments and not 
worlds. If the one judgment were adequately 
grounded, i.e. included the right conditions and 
were guarded by the right distinctions, it could not 
so lightly, and ultimately it could not at all, pass 


over into its contrary. There would still be beauty 
and ugliness, largeness and smallness, but they 
would be differents and not contraries. They would 
not both be predicated, without ground or reserva- 
tion, of the same subject. When we know what 
beauty fully means, and have found it in a world of 
our experience, then, in proportion to the extent 
and coherence of that world as an inclusive content, 
it is hard for any change of temper or of surround- 
ings to make us say "it is ugly." 

What we have been describing is in other words 
the self- maintenance or self-assertion of the uni- 
versal. The universal is just that character of 
experience which overcomes the " is not " by reduc- 
ing it to an element harmonious with and corro- 
borative of the " is." It is " the self in the other." 

When, therefore, we say that the criterion of truth 
and of reality is one, and is the character of non- 
contradiction, this assertion rests on the general 
nature of experience as outlined above, and more 
particularly on its nature as universal. And we can 
see that we are thus experiencirfjg, as it were from 
the other end, the same principle which in its 
results revealed itself as the concrete universal. 
For, as we have just observed, the removal of con- 
tradiction involves the character of a " world " ; and 
this character we must ascribe to Plato's a^aOov and, 
in ultimate interpretation, to Kant's Noumerion, to 
every principle in fact which seriously aspires to 
express the full nature of being. 

It is often thought that the criterion should 
belong to a special class of principles which are 
distinguished by the peculiarity that they cannot be 
denied without being affirmed by the denial. Such 


a principle, it may be said, is expressed by the 
assertion that there is a self-consistent reality ; for 
to say that there is no self-consistent reality (or 
even that reality need not be self-consistent) implies 
a degree of insight into the nature of things and the 
conditions of true assertion regarding it, which in 
turn involves as its basis the postulate of a reality 
with a coherent nature of its own the very principle 
intended to be denied. An obvious case of the 
kind, again, is the affirmation that every judgment 
lays claim to truth ; for no disclaimer of the pre- 
tension to truth can be framed which has not as a 
main part of its content the claim to embody a 
truth the truth of the disclaimer. 

It is true that in the case of principles t thus 
expressed the absurdity of denying the significant 
law of Identity the proposition that statements 
true of reality can be made reveals itself " within 
the compass of a lady's ring." But it is a mistake, 
I suggest, to regard these as logically peculiar cases 
case of a priori truth and therefore to rely wholly 
on the formal refutation of scepticism which they 
seem to afford, neglecting the fuller account of non- 
contradiction, as the principle of the "more 11 of 
positive experience and of its self - maintenance, 
which was drawn out in the last paragraph. 

For the impossibility of being denied, without 
eo ipSo being affirmed, which characterises these 
very simple propositions, only attaches to them in 
consequence of the extreme emptiness of experience 
in so far as they appeal to it. For, so far, a pro- 
position implying any possibility at all of a stable 
experience, even if negative in form, is sufficient to 
establish all that such principles as these formally 


contend for, which amounts in one shape or another, 
to no more than the reality of some persistent or 
objective experience. In a word, if you say any- 
thing, in the indicative mood, it commits you to the 
affirmation of a something ; and this is why even 
the formula " there is nothing," strictly taken, must 
involve the affirmation of an objective world. 

But it is a mistake, so far as I can see, to treat 
this apparently immediate certainty, which is at 
bottom equivalent to the abstraction " something 
is," as superior in logical value to the certainty of 
any well-established world of concrete experience, 
although in a purely formal sense the latter may 
seem to be at a disadvantage, i.e. to be incapable 
of being formulated as a content of a priori truth. 
For the apparent disadvantage arises precisely from 
the fact that here, where we appeal to an advanced 
phase of the construction of experience, it is prima 
facie conceivable that any particular elements of the 
concrete world, however closely knit up with the 
whole, might be denied in the precise context which 
they claim, and yet leave standing the world to 
which they immediately belong. While in the case 
of the formal principles, to which that of non-con- 
tradiction in its abstract shape belongs, if their 
content could be removed or destroyed by denial, 
then the whole world would be gone no content 
at all would be left to experience. And therefore, 
because even denial, as we have seen, implies a 
real something, we say that in denying these prin- 
ciples we inevitably reaffirm them ; that is, we 
affirm a something, which (so deficient in multi- 
plicity fs the content of experience to which they 
appeal) is necessarily one with the affirmation of 


them in their abstract shape. If you say " there is 
nothing/' you assert that there is something ; if you 
say " there is no truth" you are proclaiming that 
there is this truth at least ; if you say, " contra- 
dictory assertions may both be true" you are 
asserting the notion of truth which the nexus of 
your proposition destroys. In other words, when 
thinking of experience under these general charac- 
teristics, e.g. that A is A, we can deny none of 
them, because if we deny at all we deny every- 
thing ; and that is an attempt which even the form 
of negative assertion suffices to frustrate. 

But this distinction, which seems to confer a 
special guarantee upon principles of the type in 
question, is in truth merely apparent, and due to 
our insufficient perception of logical context. For 
the proof of everything that is proved is ultimately 
one and the same, namely, that if it is to be denied, 
nothing can be affirmed. And as it is impossible 
to deny everything, a proposition so guaranteed 
must be allowed to stand. Now a certainty thus 
grounded is really find in the spirit of logic greater 
in proportion as the whole of experience is fuller 
and more coherent ; for the difficulty of denying 
everything obviously becomes enhanced as every- 
thing becomes a more completely apprehended 
cosmos with a fuller self -maintenance. But the 
distinction in favour of the principles whose denial 
directly affirms them arises in the following way. 
Though the certainty of experience as a whole 
grows with its completeness and organisation, yet 
the power to claim that certainty as guaranteeing 
particular propositions in any precise and" literal 
form, is diminished by the same cause as that which 



increases the certainty of experience as a whole, 
that is to say, its diversity and comprehensiveness. 
For however sound we may hold a special proof 
to be, it must remain prima facie possible in an 
advanced stage of experience to deny the precise 
and literal assertion made by any single and so to 
speak departmental proposition, and yet to leave 
standing, apparently untouched, a large proportion 
of organised experience. The resources in the way 
of certainty are immensely greater, but become eo 
ipso much more difficult to use. 

Yet to a great extent this difficulty is illusory ; 
and if we choose as necessary propositions of 
advanced experience those which indicate vital 
functions or whole departments of our world rather 
than those which specify precise and literal fact, we 
can realise and make available the greater certainty 
which attaches to a full content of knowledge as 
compared with any abstract content whatever. We 
cannot stake our whole belief in reality on the literal 
and exact formulation even of such principles as the 
Law of Gravitation, the principle of the Conserva- 
tion of Energy, the existence of God, still less of 
special conclusions in the special sciences. But we 
can and do stake it on the general " trueness and 
being " of whole provinces of advanced experience, 
such as religion, or morality, or the world of beauty 
and of science. And these are a higher and deeper 
evidence of the being and nature of the real than 
are the formally undeniable judgments, undeniable 
because implying only the minimum of experience, 
to which the abstract shape of the principle of non- 
contradiction belongs. 

The above argument amounts to denying the 


distinction between necessary and contingent truth 
truth the denial of which involves a self-contra- 
diction, and truth the denial of which is only a con- 
tradiction when seen in its connection with other 
parts of experience. The test of the inconceiv- 
ability of the contradictory, 1 if rightly understood, 
applies alike to both these classes of truths. I am 
sure that, for the reasons above stated, Leibniz 1 
extraordinarily vraisemblable defence of the distinc- 
tion cannot ultimately be maintained. Every true 
proposition is so in the last resort because its con- 
tradictory is not conceivable in harmony with the 
whole of experience ; in other words, is not merely 
a contradiction of fact but a self-contradiction. 
This is easily seen, if we fill in its S and P as the 
rest of experience determines them. 2 

And further, when we take this point of view, 
the fuller ranges of experience with reference to 
which we say that the truth is the whole, reveal 
themselves as not separate in kind, but as a further 
confirmation and manifestation, in its complete 
growth and maturity, of the truth which in its 
undifferentiated form presents itself in abstract 
principles such that their denial involves their 
affirmation. So-called " contingent " truth might 
in this sense be held truer and more fundamental 

1 The inconceivability of the contrary, in the strict sense, would 
not establish any truth. Two contrary propositions may both be 

2 E.g. " Beauty [which we are referring to as an accepted experi- 
ence] is not a reality." This is in principle of the same type as 
" there is no truth," though a shade less directly self-contradictory, 
because you might formally deny the being of beauty and yet leave 
other reality standing, whereas the second proposition would not 
leave even itself standing. But you could not substantially deny 
the reality of beauty and yet leave experience standing, and therefore 
the denial is substantially self-contradictory. 


than what passes as " necessary/' just as secondary 
qualities may in some sense be held more real and 
fundamental than primary. The law of contradic- 
tion might still hold its formal place if there were 
no such thing as beauty or organised knowledge or 
social life or religion, but the guarantee of its 
necessity, the difficulty of accepting the alternative 
of believing in nothing, would be very considerably 

Truth or 4. Having now connected the concrete universal 
with the abstract form of the principle of non-con- 
tradiction, and shown that the conception of truth 
tTon Sfac as " 'he w hole " is a realisation and embodiment of 
what the latter, we might pursue the consideration of the 

whole? ' . > * 

concrete universal as the clue to Individuality. 

But before proceeding with our subject, there is 
a possible misconception which must be met. 

If you take the principle of non-contradiction, or 
of the whole, as criterion, it may be said, you can 
get out of it no distinction between truth, goodness, 
and beauty, and you leave it to be supposed that all 
satisfaction of the need for harmony is of the same 
type ; and that truth and beauty are simply names 
for what suits us and makes our experience satis- 
factory. Truth and beauty would therefore collapse 
into one under the heading of the good and would 
be undistinguishable from whatever is found felic- 
itously subservient to practice. This is what a 
Pragmatist might say. And the first and general 
answer would be, that the principle of the concrete 
universal does apply to all types of experience, and 
that alike in knowledge, in life, and in enjoyment 
it is the harmoniously concrete which is the higher 
and the more real. And the meaning of this is, 


that in none of the three aspects can the self as it 
happens to be serve as a test of reality. In follow- 
ing the law of the universal, it must transmute itself 
and undergo expansion and correction, obeying the 
necessity imposed by the real, with which it aims to 
be, but as given is not, at one. This is enough to 
dispose of the essential contention of the Pragmatist, 
the point of which lies in a confusing truth with 
goodness, and j3 reducing the goodness, so made 
ultimate standard, to the satisfaction l of the given 

The essential notion of reality as a spring of 
adjustment in the self is incompatible with this 
doctrine, whatever form of experience we con- 

But the further answer is that not only is there 
in all approach to reality an adjustment of the self, 
but the adjustment takes different forms according 
to the function of the self which is in play. The 
question is simply whether the nature of things can 
interest us for its own sake, apart from the concrete 
endeavour to transform our lives and their world. 
When once the conception of a world which pos- 
sesses being beyond our own has distinguished 
itself from the tentative endeavour to supply our 
wants, it seems inevitable that we should be in- 
terested in such a world purely from the point of 
view of what it is, if only because we have the idea 
of it, which necessarily aspires to complete itself. 
As to the facts, Mr. Bradley's 2 criticism of Bain's 

1 Whether this is admitted by Pragmatism or not, I will commit 
myself to saying that all we want either to overthrow the latter, or to 
make it a truism, is to be allowed to argue upon the nature and con- 
ditions of satisfaction. 

2 Principles of Logic, p. 18 ff. 


doctrine of practice and belief deals sufficiently with 
them, and has not, to my knowledge, met with an 
answer. Not all truth is subordinate to practice, or 
has, as sought for and held, any connection with 
practice at all. 1 In a word, in all our functions, 
"theoretical," " practical/' and " contemplative," we 
seek or accept real reality, and we never entertain a 
thought of modifying it. If, therefore, a neglect of 
the distinction were inevitable if all forms of self- 
expression must be ranked together either as 
"vision" or as "action" the old point of view 
which makes dewpla the truest and highest irpafy? 
would be preferable to subordinating truth to 
"action" in the sense of change. But there fs no 
reason for confounding plain distinctions either in 
one direction or in the other. 
~, 5. We now return to the concrete universal as a 

I he con- * 

crete c l ue to individuality. We are regarding it in general 

universal J , i r i 

embodies as the type of complete experience, and from this 

the nisus r . . . . . , . . 

of thought point of view its characteristics are the same whether 
w e think of it as the object of knowledge, of will, or 
of enjoyment. 

In the first place, then, we have to meet the 
common contention that our thought is purely dis- 
cursive, and is therefore unable so much as "to 
approach to the type of self-contained reality. It 
almost seems at times that in speaking about thought 
different philosophers have not the same experience 
in mind. 2 The tradition of the British school, start- 

1 If, that is, " practice " is to be distinguished as one type of the 
satisfaction of a conation. Truth is, of course, a satisfaction of a 
conation ; one hardly likes to suggest that there has been drawn 
from this fact a simply and directly fallacious inference. But the 
example of Hedonism warrants the opinion that even in expert con- 
troversy the sine qua non may be confused with the essence. 

2 Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism^ ii. 282. Bergson,p. 32 above. 


ing from a theory for which thought is decaying 
sense, is corroborated by the modern analysis accord- 
ing to which thought is an abstracting and general- 
ising faculty, and science a departure from factual 
experience. 1 To some extent, as we saw, this view 
is justified by the primary character of abstract 
science ; to some extent also it must be admitted 
that the contents of sense-perception are not trans- 
parent to finite thought, and so far it is a linking 
and transition between contents which are not a 
unity for it. The double aspect of finite life consti- 
tutes here, as everywhere, the difficulty and interest 
of philosophy. For, on the other hand, it has been 
urged, and we feel, that it is thought which con- 
structs and sustains the fabric of experience, and 
that it is thought-determinations which invest even 
sense-perception with its value and its meaning. It 
is only in part, then, that our thought is discursive ; 
it has also an intuitive aspect, in which it remains, 
within itself, secure in the great structures of its crea- 
tion. The ultimate tendency of thought, we have 
seen, is not to generalise, but to constitute a world. 2 
It is true that it presses beyond the given, following 
the "what" beyond the limits of the "that" But 
it. is also true that in following the "what" it tends 
always to return to a fuller "that." If its impulse 
is away from the given it is towards the whole 
the wdrld. And as constituting a world it tends to 
return to the full depth and roundness of experience 
from which its first step was to depart. In a 

1 See R. L. Nettleship in Biography of Green, i. 1 1 8 ff. ; and 
Logic Lectures, Remains^ i. 173; Green in review of John Caird, 
Works t iii. 142 ; cf. Bradley, Logic^ p. 92. 

2 This is so even in Induction. The aspect of generalisation even 
here is quite subordinate. See author's Logic % 2nd ed., ii. 174 ff. 


"world," a "concrete universal/' we do not lose 
directness and significance as we depart from 
primary experience; on the contrary, every detail 
has gained incalculably in vividness and in meaning, 
by reason of the intricate interpretation and inter- 
connection, through which thought has developed 
its possibilities of " being." The watchword of con- 
crete thinking is "Philosophiren ist dephlegmatisiren, 
vivificiren." "A second of time obeys different 
laws of proportion according as it is an element in 
an hour, in a musical phrase, or in an act of forbear- 
ance respectively. In Plato's language, it gets more 
1 determined ' at each step ; it remains the same 
itself, but it acquires new significance, and is linked 
to larger issues." l 

Following this clue, we shall be inclined to see 
in thought the principle of concreteness rather than 
of abstraction, and to recognise the highest truth or 
reality of which thought is capable in the fullest 
experience, the most self-contained world which 
finite minds can attain to from any given point. It 
is fully admitted that no absolutely self-contained 
experience is accessible to finite intelligences, and 
that therefore they must always be on one side dis- 
cursive. On the other hand, so far as a difference 
between the less and the more true or real is within 
our horizon at all, it is by this standard the standard 
of wholeness or self-containedness, which ' unites 
with the principle of non-contradiction in the charac- 
teristic of logical stability, 2 that the difference must 
be estimated. And, in so far as this estimate can 
be made, it involves a character in which thought is 
at home with itself, and is not driven from pillar to 
1 Nettleship, Remains^ i. 329. 2 See above, p. 46. 


post to make *its fortune. All students are familiar 
with Mr. Bradley 's criticism of the " thing " and the 
"self," the apprehension of beauty, and even the 
moral and religious consciousness. It is fully in the 
spirit of Plato, 1 and original and brilliant as it is 
in detailed execution, the reception of it by philo- 
sophical opinion, as if it introduced a principle new 
and unheard of in Idealism, has always been to me 
a source of the greatest amazement. It is plain, 
even if it were not plainly stated, that the possi- 
bility of estimating the comparative remoteness of 
these experiences from the Absolute implies in them, 
on the other hand, positive degrees of the character 
which constitutes reality, and which I have ventured 
to identify with logical stability. In as far as such 
types of experience take the form of self-centred 
worlds we may adopt them as examples of what we 
mean by the concrete universal, in which the aspira- 
tion of all experience to be a whole partially comes 
to its rights. Only, in as far as they partake of 
such a character, I hardly see how we can deny 
to them an aspect in which thought is at home 
with itself in reality, and assumes the attitude of an 
intuitive understanding. 

We may take as an example a work of art. 2 
This is an object in which we can realise what the 
Greeks meant by Theoria. In its essence, as a 
thing* of beauty, and neglecting its aspect as a 
physical object or movement, it is self-contained and 
a true whole, possessing its significance in itself, and 

1 Cf., for example, on the self, the monster simile in Rep. ix., 
and the condemnation of the phenomenal soul in x. ; and on the finite 
perception of beauty the well-known place Symposium, 2 1*0 e. 

2 Here I am glad to have Professor Taylor with me, at least in 
some degree. See Elements of Metaphysic, pp. 32-3. 


not driving our thought beyond it to a detached 
meaning and explanation. Every point in it carries 
the burden, or lives with the life, of the whole. Of 
course its unity and independence are imperfect, 1 
but that makes no difference when we once under- 
stand that we are talking about matters of degree 
within finite experience. The point to be grasped 
is simply the contrast between the relation of 
abstract generalisation on the one hand, and of con- 
crete modes of thinking on the other, to complete- 
ness of experience. In the latter we see the return 
to the fulness of experience which thought in the 
former appeared to abandon. Pursuing the same 
law or principle the removal of contradiction the 
mind tends to arrive at experience incomparably 
more living and intense, as also incomparably more 
logical and rational, than that of every-day percep- 
tion. The true office of thought, we begin to see, 
is to build up, to inspire with meaning, to intensify, 
to "vivify." The object which thought in the true 
sense has worked upon is not a relic of decaying 
sense, but is a living world, analogous to a percep- 
tion of the beautiful, in which every thought-deter- 
mination adds fresh point and deeper bearing to 
every element of the whole. We may think of a 
great business organisation, the economic life of a 
great city, the moral life of a society, as seen by the 
casual observer, as subjected to general formulae by 
the statistical investigator, or as grasped by an 
active participant, who is also a student, 2 familiar 
with all its aspects, and competent to realise the 
relation of its purposes to their expression. The 

1 Appearance, 2nd ed., p. 465. 

2 Contrast the assumption that dualism is inevitable. Ward on 
business and the looker-on, Naturalism and Agnosticism, ii. 133-4. 


more concrete knowledge is the more vital for being 
methodically precise, and more precise for being 
more intimately vital, just as the touch of a painter 
or a musician depends for its vital value on its extra- 
ordinary quantitative and qualitative accuracy, 
which it owes in turn to the dominating sense of the 
whole. Logical exactitude in the full and true 
sense is not a deadening but a vitalising quality. 
Form, interdependence, significance, self-complete- 
ness are characters as of thought at its best, so of 
vitality at its highest. This is the general character 
by which the concrete universal gives us the clue to 
the individual. We will further draw it out in three 
closely-connected relations. Thought, we are insist- 
ing, is not a separate faculty of something known as 
the intelligence. It is the active form of totality, 
present in all and every experience of a rational 
being perhaps, in a degree, in every experience in 
the universe. 

6. When thought is pronounced purely discur- The 
sive, and so contrasted as secondary and extraneous 
with immediate experience and activity, it is being 
opposed, I imagine, to the content of sensation, to ver c me 
the living force of will, and to the immediacy and cipie. 
interest of feeling. On all of these oppositions the 
conception of the concrete universal can throw some 
light, though it cannot abolish a distinction of 
aspects, characteristic of the finite mind, and neces- 
sary to the richness of experience. On these 
matters altogether it seems worth while to remark 
that, if philosophy is to make any definite advance, 
it must make an effort to get behind the old idea of 
the irreducible dualism involved in man's nature as 
at once spiritual and animal. It is very easy to be 


in a hurry, and say " of course thought cannot see 
through the differences of the sensuous world, or 
play a part in feeling or volition other than that of 
the reflective onlooker ; how can we possibly exhibit 
the distinctions of green and red, of love and hate, 
of choice and refusal, as operations of the intelli- 
gence? Therefore thought is purely discursive, 
and has to accept its matter from elsewhere, and 
experience can never be a whole." And it is no 
less easy to say, " Man in ideal experience must 
become purely spiritual ; and thought must find its 
completion, if it is to be homogeneous, apart from 
the world of sense, of feeling or of action." But 
the task of philosophy is just to have the care and 
patience necessary to disentangling and estimating 
the signs and media by which man's animal nature 
gives utterance to his spiritual being, and without 
which our ideas of his perfection, imperfect as they 
are, would be more imperfect still. 

I will say a word on the nature of thought in 
general, and then point out its participation in the 
forms of experience which are held to be most alien 
to it. 

The nature of thinking is not exhausted in the 
abstract reflective judgment or course of inference. 
Its essence lies in the passage of a being or content 
beyond itself, in a word, ideality, adjustment, or the 
universal. It is one, therefore, with the experience 
of freedom. " He who talks of freedom, and 
excludes thought, knows not what he says." l The 
identity of the two conceptions lies in the trans- 
formation of the alien into the kindred, the affirma- 
i ' 

tion of self in and through the other. Where we 

1 Hegel's Gesch. d. Philosophic, iii. 477, Eng. Trans, iii. 401. 


have this, we have the essence of thought, and it is 
easy to see that we have it in the higher phases 
of all finite experience, sentient, emotional, conative, 
as well as cognitive. The characteristic embodi- 
ments of thought within finite life are knowledge 
(including sense -perception), love, and work or 

i. It is true prima facie that the contents of sensation 

. i i can 

sense -perception are not transparent to thought, become 
As such and by themselves they cannot be defined ; l 
they cannot be brought as members into an in- 
telligible system. They are not objects in which 
reason can by logical process recognise its own nature, 
as it can in life and purpose, and even in mechanical 
connections. This is prima facie true, but it is not 
the whole truth, and it just misses the fundamental 

The contents of sense-perception, like everything 
else, reveal a new character in becoming elements 
of a new whole. Although, like everything else, 
undefinable in their minimum significance, they 
acquire in fresh combinations fresh meanings, which 
must be rooted in what they are. And it would 
not be justifiable to suppose that the contents of 
sense, in the actual context in which we apprehend 
them, are devoid of meaning in which their nature 
has been drawn out and rendered explicit by contrast 
and relation. It is certain that they speak to us, 
that they convey meanings to our complex nature 
as a whole, though it is true that our thought must 
fail to interpret adequately in other language what 
they have to say. 

1 But then this is really true of every term. Definition is always 
in principle further determination. 


The strongest case of this enhanced significance 
is no doubt in the world of beauty. For the thought 
which has become expert in this world, such media 
as sound, colour, form, rhythm, and metre have un- 
doubtedly a logic and a necessity of their own. The 
universal the straining towards the whole is in 
them as in all experience ; and it is idle to deny 
their constructive and creative nisus the name of 
thinking, because it does not operate through what 
we call par excellence logical language and con- 
ceptions attached to words. The rhythm that com- 
pletes a rhythm, the sound that with other sounds 
satisfies the educated ear, the colour that is demanded 
by a colour-scheme, are I take it as necessary and as 
rational as the conclusion of a syllogism. 1 

Some reference to this characteristic may include 
or at least may illustrate the idea that to know the 
conditions of occurrence of a sensation is one with 
and supersedes the presentation of the sensuous 
element itself. There seem to be two directions in 
which such a suggestion might be interpreted. It 
might mean a restriction of reality to an intelligible 
world, after the fashion of Plato's forms as commonly 
understood, implying that sensation is a nullity and 
a matter of indifference ; or it might imply that 

1 Nettleship, Remains, i. 178, " To say that a combination of two 
tones is musically wrong is to say that ' I cannot, consistently with 
the law or principles of musical thinking, conceive or hold together 
those two tones.' To sum up then, each sort of object has its own 
laws, and each such law is a law of conception." Cf. Whistler's 
Life, i. 185. A visitor to Whistler's studio remarked that the upright 
line in the panelling of the wall was wrong . . . adding "of course, 
it's a matter of taste." To which Whistler replied . . . "remember, 
so that you may not make the mistake again, it's not a matter of taste 
at all, it's a matter of knowledge." I do not say he was precisely 
right but he was right as implying a necessity of the type of rational 


sensation can -become so transparent to thought, so 
definitely absorbed in expressiveness, that its con- 
tingent and unintelligible character is done away, 
and it becomes a revelation undistinguishable from, 
though involving a special perfection in, the mean- 
ing which it Expresses. Something of this kind we 
can almost conceive, when we think of the highest 
moods of aesthetically creative sympathy. And 
according to the principle on which I shall later 
have to insist, it is from these fullest experiences 
that our clues should be sought, if we desire to 
apprehend how life can most nearly approach per- 
fection. ''Colour," it has been said, "is a spirit 
upon things by which they become expressive to the 
spirit. " l And we see that in a concrete universal 
there may be a beginning of a transfiguration of 
sense which at a higher level would remove the 
alienation between sense and thought. It is always 
an illusion, more or less, to think that you can 
remove the expression, and leave the meaning. 
It is like thinking that we should lose nothing of a 
friend's personality if we were never to hear his 
voice again. If all sensation became to us like the 
tones of a voice we know, or the touch of a hand 
.we love, we should realise the inseparability of the 
symbol and the symbolised. 2 

ii. We have also, in claiming any higher status Thought is 

r i i i i r t . the life of 

for thought, to meet the current idea of its relation feeling. 
to feeling. The same antagonism which common 

1 Pater, Essays on the Renaissance^ 2nd ed., p. 63. The passage 
is very relevant. 

52 Compare the idea, often suggested, that in music we un- 
consciously hear the numerical relations of the vibrations which 
underlie the sounds. This is no doubt overstrained ; but in the 
arts which appeal to sight we certainly are affected in this way by 
underlying proportions which condition the whole effect. 


sense is apt to find between thought and sentient 
experience, rooted in the same ideas of abstraction 
and of decaying sense, it also emphatically finds 
between thought and feeling, whether feeling is 
taken in the sense of immediate psychical being, 
of emotion towards an object, or of pleasure and 

In all these respects the experience of aesthetic 
enjoyment may again serve as a type. If there 
could be a Hedonistic standard of excellence, it 
would be of an analogous nature to the degree 
of aesthetic enjoyment. For here the feeling is 
necessarily and notably one with and proportional 
to certain determinate attributes of the object. And 
though we are not prepared to reduce the " higher " 
pleasure to the " greater" one, and therefore cannot 
attach ourselves to Hedonism, yet it is true that in the 
aesthetic object there is something which characterises 
the feeling responsive to it in a way susceptible of 
objective valuation, though not necessarily of valua- 
tion in terms of pleasurableness. As with sensation, 
so with emotion or pleasure-pain* it is the concrete 
universal that draws them out of their blankness 
and exhibits them as aspects of the difference made 
to a living world by contents in which it is affirmed 
or negated ; and thus makes explicit the " more " and 
"greater" of which they are capable. It seems 
probable on the whole that PleasurableneSs and 
Emotion vary in value directly and not inversely as 
the constructive achievement of thought on which 
they attend. We need only reflect for a moment 
on the greater works of art to see that this must be 
so. If, as may be the case, there is a specially 
concentrated intensity which goes with the blank 


formlessness of the fiercer pleasures and pains a 
subject which Plato and Aristotle have thoroughly 
worked out it is an intensity, which, however it 
may be explained, has in it relatively less and not more 
of " being and of trueness." It negates the expansion 
of the self, and in some way forces the whole to 
concentrate itself into what cannot contain it. We 
feel ourselves smothered in it, and driven into a cul 
de sac. 1 In the kinds and degrees of love, as in 
those of pleasure-pain, we can see the difference 
made by approaching to the character of thought 
the character of a harmonious world. 

And even if we take feeling as immediate psychical 
being, the relation remains the same. All thought, 
no doubt, has a mediate side ; but all concrete 
thought has become immediate no less than mediate. 
In fact, what the great philosophers meant by thought, 
the highest possible phase of realisation, is much 
what most people mean (so far as they grasp the 
notion of it at all) when they speak of feeling. 2 For 
if we admit thought to be in part intuitive, a unity 
asserted through diversity, there is no longer any- 
thing to prevent it from reproducing the character 
of feeling in the sense of immediate apprehension ; 
an immediate apprehension which is the totality of a 
mediate discourse. This is the sort of apprehension, 
which a name, familiar and adored, awakes in us. 

iii. *To act is to exhibit the same essential nature. Thought 
It is to go beyond the starting-point, and in going o 
beyond it, to remain at home. 8 Both sides are activit y- 
essential, and when either is absent, the full con- 

1 Nettleship, Remains, i. 336. I do not say it has i\o special 
claim to reality. 

2 Nettleship, Biography of Green, p. 1 1 8. 

3 Hegel, Rechts-Philosophie, Sect. 7. 


ception of activity is not realised* It will be 
pointed out below, that, if, as is alleged, the con- 
ception of causal interaction between spatial things 
originates in our personal sense of activity, it is a 
singularly unhappy piece of anthropomorphism, which 
has reacted most deplorably on the conception of its 
archetype. For causal activity, as we ascribe it 
to nature, is just what it is impossible for us to 
experience ; and our own experience of activity 
is just what we cannot without utter confusion 
ascribe to natural things. No activity is " ours " in 
which we do not remain at home as well as go 
abroad ; the mere effect of body upon body can 
never constitute an act of an originative being. To 
be active, in the sense in which we experience 
activity, means to be a "free cause" 1 and not a 
natural cause that is to say, not to be a term 
in a succession, perceptible only to an observer, but 
to be a world which reshapes itself in virtue of its 
nature and that of its content, and, in doing so, ex- 
tends its borders, and absorbs and stamps itself upon 
something that before seemed alien. If we want 
to interpret our experience of activity we should go 
to Leibniz and Spinoza, or to the more modern 
conception of a "free cause." And then we should 
find that without assimilating conation to cognition 
(except that cognition is, of course, a conation) we 
must recognise in all conation, as at least* in all 
other finite experience, the essential character of 

It may be observed for the sake of clearness that 

not all thought is cognition, though all cognition is 

1 Green, Prolegomena^ sect. 77 ; and Joachim, Ethics of 
Spinoza^ pp. 199-200. 


thought. Cognition is a conation determined by 
special interests and ideas; they are independent 
ideas, and not parasitic ; but the form of experience 
which they determine is not the complete and 
exclusive form of the unity which experience seeks. 
Their advantage as candidates for the place of sole 
end, or criterion of perfection an advantage the 
undue assertion of which would constitute in- 
tellectualism rests on the defective formulation of 
opposing views. Cognition at any rate emphatically 
exhibits that self-transcendent character of thought 
which constitutes its freedom and initiative. For 
these are essentially forms of adjustment and 
adaptation ; they mean that there is an appearance 
of friction and antagonism which by the right kind 
of self-assertion can be transformed into responsive- 
ness and co-operation. If the same character were 
fully recognised, as it might be, by the "activist," 
to coin an expression, and the voluntarist, in their 
account of the mainspring of experience, they might 
soon destroy the tendency to identify thinking with 
cognition. But if the champions of freedom and 
spontaneity insist on tearing up the roots of these 
very qualities, by making them in Spinoza's sense 
" passive " that is to say, unconnected with adequacy 
of ideas to an objective situation ; then there is 
liable to be a reaction towards finding in cognition 
those essentials of a free and active being which are 
denied by the advocates of will. 

But neither extreme is inevitable ; nor has either 
been adopted by Greek or modern Idealism. Will 
and activity mean the operation of the nature of 
thought through the expansion of ideas into fact ; 
but are not confined to, though they include, that 


operation of certain special ideas which constitutes 
the province of cognition. 

The goal 7. Thus by pursuing the conception of the logical 
universal, universal we have arrived at the idea of something 
complete and self-contained, in which sensation 
becomes transparent and feeling becomes deter- 

i. This idea is the idea of the Individual, and 
Individuality is the ultimate completeness of that 
complete. c h arac t er o f wholeness and non-contradiction which 
we first generalised under the name of logical 
stability. It is all one whether we make non-con- 
tradiction, wholeness, or Individuality our criterion 
of the ultimately real. What we mean by it is in 
each case the same ; we mean that which must 
stand ; that which has nothing without to set 
against it, and which is pure self -maintenance 1 

Individuality, it has been said, has prima facie 
two extremes. An " atom " 2 may claim it, on the 
ground that it is less than can be divided ; a 
world may claim it, on the grourfd that its positive 
nature is ruined if anything is added or taken away. 
In the ultimate sense, the sense indicated above, it 
is common ground that there can only be one 
individual, and that, the individual, the Absolute. 3 

1 The purest self-maintenance must, in a sense, involve negation, 
though not contradiction, see Lect. VI. 3. 

2 The atom, as incapable of organised self-maintenance, would 
really be the extreme opposite of the true individual. Appearance^ 
2nd ed., p. 364. Cp. Leibniz on atoms versus monads. 

8 We say then with Mr. Bradley, following, of course, Plato and 
Hegel, that the Individual, which as we have seen is the only true 
form of the universal, is the Real. The curious misconception 
through which this principle has been rejected by and maintained 
against Idealism has sprung from the negative or exclusive notion of 
the Individual. Thus Mr. Schiller's perfect Individual would be 


It is not, however, my primary object here to carry 
further the theory of the Absolute. My purpose is 
rather, accepting ultimate Individuality as the 
character which our fullest experience tends to 
approach, to draw conclusions as to the nature and 
position of the human beings to whom in a secondary 
sense we apply the term Individuals. 

ii. The first and most important matter that the individual 
argument leads me to insist on is this, that Indivi- i? 
duality is essentially a positive conception. There 
has been far too great a tendency l to state the <J ualit y- 
essence of Individuality not as the being oneself, 
but as the not being some one else. And in the 
Absolute no doubt these two sides must come 
together ; in a perfect arrangement there can be no 
mere repetition, but in finite experience it is all- 
important on which of the two we insist. Unique- 
ness as guaranteed by a negative relation to other 
series 2 is one thing ; as constituted by a profound or 
comprehensive content it is another thing. The 
one may descend to eccentricity ; the other is in 
itself originality. Originality, within finite conditions, 
is not in principle excluded by agreement or even by 
a large measure of repetition. Its essence lies in 
the richness and completeness of a self, not in the 
non-existence of any other self approximating to it. 
The merely exclusive relation is in the first place 
purely formal, giving no clue to the content of the 
individuality ; and in the next place, if insisted on, 
it tends to become dangerous. All that is true in it is 

one of a multitude, say an angel. Humanism^ p. 124, cf. Ritchie, 
Darwin and Hegel^ i. i oo, with the reference to Seth's Hegelianism 
and Personality. 

1 Royce, i. 456-460. 

2 The guarantee can never be final, Bradley, Mind> Ixxiv. 167. 


that individuals must be distinct ; to say that in every 
sense they are not each other soon becomes untrue. 
The individual is individual primarily because his 
own content is stable and self-contained ; the ulti- 
mate individual has indeed no other individual to 
be distinguished from. 

in. The uniqueness which is made the mark of 
^purpose, individuality is often stated in the form of unique- 
ness of purpose. We shall return to the subject of 
purpose when it is necessary to speak of teleology. 
But it is important to remark at this point that the 
conception of purpose shares the purely de facto 
character of negative individuality. A purpose, 
after all, is nothing but a want, or at most, a wanted 
object. 1 It gives no guarantee of depth or value by 
being a purpose which only one being entertains. 
It is, moreover, something which cannot be ascribed 
to a timeless reality ; and admitting that a timeless 
reality is a conception open to dispute, it is still 
the case that a purpose is nothing more in essence 
than a partial element of a logical whole which is 
(whether necessarily or not) drawn out in time. 
And there is no reason to expect that the part 
which at any moment remains unfulfilled and so 
presents itself as a " want " a contradiction set up 
by the incompleteness of the world to which it 
belongs, is a matter of pre-eminent interest or 
value. In short, as a want in a finite mind a pur- 
pose may be "distinctive," but a higher quality of 
content, as representing a profound necessity of a 
highly organised world, would be needed to make 
it individual. It is not the de facto purpose, but 
the quality and comprehensiveness of the world 
1 For the distinction see Green, Prolegomena^ sect. 85. 



that sets the* purpose, that makes or mars the 

iv. The same set of contrasts appears in the The indi- 

r i i i* i r vidual is 

connection of individuality with infinity. infinite but 

It has already been attempted 1 to show that nota 
recent investigations on the subject of infinity leave 
the distinction between self-completeness and end- 
lessness, for philosophical purposes, where it was 
before. The individual, if our treatment of the 
problem has any justification, is characterised by 
self- con tainedness or self - completeness ; and in- 
cludes endless detail only in the sense in which 
any endeavour is endless which proceeds in the 
solution of a problem by a method demonstrably 
inadequate. To take a simple though all-important 
example ; to know God in spatial extension or in a 
temporal series would be a task involving endless- 
ness. 2 And in as far as that which is to be known 
is a reality, and its nature the nature of God or of 
the Absolute inevitably when approached in a 
certain way gives rise to the endless procedure, it 
might even be affirmed that the endlessness was 
actually real. But this could not mean that the 
endless series was given. I note, indeed, that the 
infinite numbers of modern mathematics, are, so 
far as I can follow the account of them, not to be 
reached by enumeration. 8 Their nature is rather 
that of a class concept involving an extension con- 
sisting of "all possible cases," which is practically 
left indefinite, although it is clear that there must 

1 Page 38, footnote. 

2 On the question whether infinite progression as such involves a 
contradiction see Review of McTaggart's Commentary 0n HegeFs 
Logic; Mind) January 1911. 

8 Russell, Principles of Mathematics ^ sect. 342, ff. 


be a number corresponding to it. Attention has 
long ago been called to this characteristic of class 
concepts on purely logical ground ; l and it would 
almost seem that here again we have a concept or 
definition that demands the completeness of a series, 
rather than a series that is actually complete. 

, We conclude, then, that the Individual is one in 
idea with the true infinite, and is the embodiment 
of the concrete universal, which is the universal as 
asserting itself to the full through identity and 
through difference together. It is complete and 
coherent characters whose connection is estab- 
lished by the relation above drawn out between 
wholeness and non - contradiction. And in the 
ultimate sense there can be only one Individual, 
is the 8. To form a just estimate of what is involved 

f n P ward? * n t ^ ie nature f Individuality or the concrete uni- 
versal, it is necessary to examine the common anti- 
thesis of inward and outward. 

The i. The Individual is one with the spiritual, and 

the characteristic of the spiritual in its proper nature 
* s i nw ^rdness as opposed to externality. But it is 
important to interpret these terms correctly. The 
terms are evidently taken from the experience of 
the mind as aware of its own processes, in contrast 
with the character of space in which objects appear 
as outside one another. Mental process is inward 
because its component phases are typically insepar- 
able, although diverse. The possession of one 
carries with it that of the other. 

Memory is inward because its diversity is bound 
up with the being of the mind ; you cannot take the 
one and leave the other. Inwardness is diversity 

1 Knowledge and Reality } pp. 64-5. 


without dissociation. Matter is outward, because, 
as it seems, you can take part of it and leave part, 
without essentially modifying either. It would be 
untrue to say that the parts of space in no way 
presuppose each other; but prima facie the connec- 
tion is not given within each, and spatial objects 
refuse to form a self or centre of experience, 1 
though they may be inconceivable without one. 
Such, in general, is the character of Nature, taken 
as independent non- psychical existence. It is, as 
thus hypostasised, the type of being most remote 
from spirit and from individuality. 2 

With the externality of Nature is bound up the 
conception of Mechanism. The essence of it is 
that the world consists of elements, complete in 
themselves, and yet determined in relation to 
elements beyond them. If not complete in them- 
selves the elements would be at the mercy of the 
whole, and their claims to be its self-subsistent 
components would be gone. If not determined by 
others, the elements would not manifest even the 
appearance of entering into and constituting an 
orderly world. And yet, these two pretensions, the 
claim to have a nature of their own, or really to be, 
and the admission that they have their reality in a 
behaviour determined ab extra by relations, form 
when taken together, the crudest case of externality. 
The element behaves according to relations which 
connect it with the whole, but it has in itself a being 
a purely physical or self-external existence which 
possesses no communion with the whole. Thus its 

1 See Timaeus, 520. It is plain that for a perfect apprehension 
there can be in this sense no externality. 

2 Appearance^ 2nd ed,, p. 552. 


behaviour is conceived as something betwixt and 
between ; it does not refuse all response to the 
system in which it stands, but it responds, we might 
say, ignorantly and narrowly, " speaking when 
spoken to" but in no way showing a sympathy 
with its world beyond the definite reactions which 
answer, each to each, to particular solicitations. 
According to an old distinction, it acts according to 
law, and not from the idea of law. It pursues a 
routine, and takes no account of purpose. 
True in- H. All this is the received account of the anti- 
iTout n - ess thesis between the inward or spiritual and the out- 
absorb war d or natural, 1 which culminates in the opposition 
between spirit and extension ; and between pur- 
posiveness and mechanism. It is, as I understand, 
when formulated by philosophy, a partly contro- 
versial and partly provisional account. That is to 
say, in the first place it reiterates from a hostile 
point of view the ideas of Naturalism, which means, 
those of uncritical metaphysic founding itself on 
conceptions current within the natural sciences. 
And in the next place it recognises that in the 
different types of our experience there is a certain 
prima facie justification for such distinctions, with- 
out admitting that they can contain ultimate truth. 

My reason for drawing out the contrast of inward 
and outward at the present point, is to repudiate 
what I take to be a misapplication of it. 

Inwardness, when meant to be the equivalent of 
Individuality or the character of spirit, should be 
taken as a type of experience superior to exter- 
nality and including it. But there is a natural 

1 Cf. "The outward and visible sign," and "inward and spiritual 
grace." It is plain that spiritual is here opposed to visible. 


tendency, partly due to the apparent correspondence 
of the metaphors, partly to the evasiveness which 
shrinks from all concrete synthesis, to interpret in- 
wardness as the co-ordinate contrary of externality. 1 
The inward thus conceived, drops from the inclusive 
concrete to the exclusive abstract. The mere inner, 
Hegel will always tell us, is the mere outer. In- 
dividuality, instead of being the fulness of life and 
content, becomes the bare abstraction of a holy of 
holies which if it could be entered would prove an 
empty shrine. Structure, Logic, Determinateness, 
are banished as implying externality and mechanism. 
Technically speaking, the point is that absence 
of externality seems most cheaply purchased by 
rejecting all determinations because they seem to be 
possible starting-points of external relations. And, 
therefore, the inward or spiritual ceases to be a world 
and becomes an empty point, as, for instance, in the 
ego or free will of popular philosophy in contrast 
with, say, the will of a society or the inspiration of 
a religious enthusiasm. It is to this misconception 
that the emptiness of most accounts of the higher 
experiences 2 is in a great measure due ; and such 
emptiness in its turn promotes the misconception. 
It is true, of course, that our accounts of an experi- 
ence essentially beyond our own can only be abstract 
and provisional. But it is not true that the contents 
and ofijects which form the interest of finite experi- 
ence can in principle be taken as abolished into 
vacancy, however they may be transformed. A 
world cannot consist, so far as I understand, of 
spiritual centres without circumferences, nor can 

1 Taylor, Metaphysic^ p. 99. 
2 Cf. James, Varieties of Religious Experience. 


they, as inward centres in the popular sense, form 
circumferences for each other. 1 Individuality and 
true spiritual inwardness do not lie at all in that 
direction. Externality can subsist only as sub- 
ordinated to inwardness ; but inwardness can subsist 
only in the conquest of externality. The tendency 
to accept the self-external nature or matter as 
self-existent, must be corrected in the higher experi- 
ence ; as in fact this tendency can never completely 
maintain itself in any actual consciousness. But to 
deny its self-existence is one thing, to deny its sub- 
sistence as the object or determinate character 2 
necessary to spiritual reality is quite another. The 
"outer" is the content of the "inner," and granting 
that these expressions no longer are suitable lan- 
guage for the absolute experience, yet it is a 
blunder of principle to analyse the outer into a 
series of inners deprived of all outer. There are 
two distinct modes of conceiving the advance in 
spirituality, the one to resolve all externality into 
series or complexes of psychical centres ; 8 the other 
to conceive it as raised to an adequate object or 
character for individuals whom it characterises. 
The moral is, then, that as we approach Individ- 

1 The spiritual body, to use my own phrase, conceived by Mr. 
Bradley, Appearance, pp. 340-41, would be, I presume, relatively 
external ; a system of differences more or less fixed against each 
other. I cannot see how there should be a universe without at least 
some such system. 

2 Character as opposed to object, if it is urged that minds at their 
best are what they know. 

8 See below, Lect. X. The body seems to be not so much a 
symbol or repetition of the soul as its basis and complement ; />. the 
" truth " of the two would involve a reconstruction of the soul as well 
as of the body. And thus again the body cannot be taken as con- 
sisting of monads which are not the soul ; this would deprive the 
soul of an essential factor ; unless indeed we say that the other 
monads, which enter into the body, also enter into the soul. 


lality we are n'ot to look for diminution of content, 
>f structure, of determinateness. Individuality will 
;how itself as inwardness and spirituality, not by 
imptiness and abstraction, not even by blank in- 
ensity of incommunicable feeling, but, in a word, 
>y the characteristics of "a world." Mechanism 
ind externality will in a sense be superseded, but 
lot by inwardness as their co-ordinate contrary. 
Part will not be bound to part within the whole 
>urely by quantitative reaction ; but, in principle, 
ve should expect the adjustment of quantitative 
leterminations to be infinitely more delicate and 
nore subtly precise though not insisted on as 
lumerable as they become concomitants or vehicles 
>f a more intensely focussed significance. In the 
ame way we should expect to find in the higher 
ndividuality not more but less of what is commonly 
:alled spontaneousness, if that means " indetermina- 
;ion," laxity of connection, and unaccountable new 
development ; and more of logic, more of expansion 
.owards giving full effect to demands which emerge 
)y systematic necessity from the articulation of the 
vhole ; less of the urgency of exclusive feeling, 
nore of the definite emotions attaching to fuller 
self-expression ; less of the mere passion of mystical 
eligion ; more of the amor intellectwlis Dei resting 
}n clear spiritual insight. Inwardness will not be 
;he banishment of all that seems outward, but the 
solution of the outward in the circulation of the 
,otal life. 1 

9. The failure to find a satisfactory type of 

1 That these are not words without meaning may be realised in 
some degree by the student of Dante or Wordsworth, and indeed of 
ill art, science, and history. 


Revolting experience in the abstract or conditional judgments 
chanisnfwe of mechanistic science, may lead us elsewhere than 
noTto g to the concrete universal or cosmos conceived as 
individual And so we find the genuine experience, 
which thought as abstract science fails to grasp, 
identified with "the historical." 1 "The actual is 
wholly historical." It is contrasted both with 
natural science, and with thought as such, quite in 
the tone of naive Realism. It alone is concrete 
experience ; richer than thought, which can only 
be universal and relational (note the confusion of 
universal and general), giving only science, not 
existence. It is contingent, admitting contingency 
into the heart of things as against the necessity of 
thought - connections. It is the life and the end, 
while science is the means. I presume that we 
have here the influence of an ideal of individuality. 
The intention must be to take as a basis the life of 
persons, who in some sense pass for individuals, 
and within whose soul -process in time all finite 
experience must be included. 

Such view, as was said just* now, seems little 
better than Natural Realism. We are to accept 
as richer than thought a reality consisting in the 
fragmentary diorama of finite life-processes unroll- 
ing themselves in time, seen from the outside, not 
strictly knowable because a tissue of mere conjunc- 
tions ; and yet not given, because a mere construc- 
tion on the basis of the present; and contingent 
through and through, not having so much as stripped 
off the form of conjunction which makes true con- 
nection impossible. 

History is a hybrid form of experience, incapable 

1 Ward, Nat. and Agn. ii. 280. 


of any considerable degree of " being or trueness." 
The doubtful story of successive events cannot 
amalgamate with the complete interpretation of the 
social mind, of art, or of religion. These inter- 
pretations, when attempted in connection with a 
narrative of events, fall into separate chapters, 
isolated from the narrative. The great things, 
which are necessary in themselves, become within 
the narrative contingent, or ascribed by most doubt- 
ful assumptions of insight, to this actor or that on the 
historical stage. The study of Christianity is the 
study of a great world-experience ; the assignment 
to individuals of shares in its development is a 
problem for scholars, whose conclusions, though of 
considerable human interest, can never be of supreme 
importance. Are we, indeed, to see the philosophy 
of history joining hands with the "psychological 
valet," l who takes upon him to interpret the minds 
and natures of great men as if he was God's spy ? 

And the reason for taking this hybrid form of 
experience for the type of reality lies in ignoring 
the concrete universal. This is the defect which 
leads us to suppose that concreteness and conting- 
ency are inseparable, and makes us confound the 
apparent contingency of details within a cosmos, 
whose main members are necessary to the whole, 2 
with the contingency at the heart of a spatio- 
temporal world of incident, which has never been 
recreated by experience of the fullest type. It is 
impossible for life at its best to be contingent, and 
if " freedom " is mentioned, it must be remembered 

1 Hegel, Philosophie des Rechts, sect. 124. Cf. Green, Prole- 
gomena, sect. 293. 

2 See above, p, 48 ff., on necessity and totality. 


that freedom is the logic of individuality, and as 
^ remote as possible from contingency. To say that 
reality can only be found in the given, and not in 
its expansion and interpretation through thought, 
is surely the ancient fallacy of naive Realism. If 
thought had a point of departure foreign to exist- 
ence, then it would be idle to speak of either gener- 
ating the other. But the connection of thought 
and existence, whatever it may be, is not so simply 
disposed of as this. We have on our hands the 
world or worlds of experience in their fullest and 
most exact realisation, and in them, as we have 
seen, we find thought inseparable from the recog- 
nition of what things are for us at their best. 1 
Social morality, Art, Philosophy, and Religion take 
us far beyond the spatio-temporal externality of 
history ; these are concrete and necessary living 
worlds, and in them the finite mind begins to 
experience something of what individuality must 
ultimately mean. 

The object of the present lecture has been to 
remove from various points of view the prejudice 
which sees in the individual not a positive cosmos, 
with its own logic and organisation, expressive, in 
spite of its immediate unity, of a determinate being, 
but an empty and exclusive point, whose spontaneity 
and purposiveness mean an initiative that draws 

1 If it is true that in all predication the subject is Reality, and, 
further, that there are no ideas which do not qualify this subject, it 
follows that the truth of the ontological argument is conceded in 
principle, and the value of the knowledge to be obtained by it is only 
a question of degree that is, of the reservation under which any 
given predicate truly qualifies reality. This seems important, as the 
right way of putting the problem of truth and reality, though open, 
of course, to such criticism as Mr. Bradley's in Appearance^ 2nd 
ed., pp. 396-7 ; Schiller, Humanism^ p. 251, 


upon no positive source, and focusses in itself no 
positive striving of the universe. In subsequent 
lectures we shall further illustrate the former con- 
ception with reference to the problems of teleology 
and interaction. 



Alleged i. IT is a widespread idea 1 that the essence of 
individuality conflicts with the postulates of the 
Uniformity of Nature and of universal law. We 
shall not be able to grasp the true character of the 
individual, and the bearing of the argument of the 
previous lecture, till we have disposed of these 
misconceptions. They arise from the confusion 
between the abstract and concrete universal ; be- 
tween the recurrence of similars and the identity of 
a differentiated system. 

It is held that a spiritual philosophy requires 
mentality in nature, that mentality demands vari- 
ability, and that high variability is incompatible with 
the principle of uniformity. The principle of Uni- 
formity is thus misconstrued and a fatal opposition 
set up between it and the nature of mind ; just as, 
more generally, it is held that Individuality excludes 

1 The general position which I am criticising is to be found in 
Ward, Naturalism^ i. 108; cf. ii. 241, 280; Taylor, Elements, 
221 ff. ; Royce, World and Individual^ ii. 191, 195. Professor 
Ward does not indeed explicitly argue for pan-psychism (though note 
p. 1 08, "the order of an ever-living spirit"), and his sharp contrast 
between inorganic and organic Nature would be in conflict with such 
a tendency. Yet I can hardly understand his desire to discredit 
uniformity throughout the material world in any other sense, 



the fulfilment df general law. Thus we have a fallacy 
affecting the whole interpretation both of nature 
and of man. The responsiveness of nature to spirit, 
their magnificent opposition and reconciliation, is 
frittered away into a remote resemblance between 
them, depending on a character the character of 
variability which is exaggerated by a forced hypo- 
thesis in the case of nature, and abstracted from its 
conditions and true significance in the case of what 
we know as mind. 

2. To begin with, the Uniformity of Nature is uniformity 
taken for this purpose, not in the sense in which 
it has been held to constitute a logical principle, 
but in the popular and prima facie sense, disclaimed 
by logicians, that "the future will resemble the 
past" that the procedure of nature is regular, is 
a mode of repetition, and its elements similar, in 
a very high though unspecified degree. 

It is then argued that actual purposiveness and 
spontaneity, assumed to be evinced by variation 
and irregularity, are more* widely distributed in 
nature than Uniformity so construed would admit ; 
while on the other hand, an appearance of such 
uniformity can be generated even in human conduct, 
which we know to be spontaneous, by the use of 
methods analogous to those which give rise to the 
impression of extreme regularity and resemblance 
as prevalent in nature. The conclusion is that the 
spontaneity which we know to prevail in what we 
recognise as mind, may also prevail in what we are 
accustomed to think of as external nature, accom- 
panied by a similar variability, which our methods 
of enquiry disguise. 

The Law of Uniformity, then, in the logical 


sense of the term, 1 in which It ifteans rational 
system, such that all changes and differences are 
relevant to each other, is not here expressly in 
question. On the other hand, unless it is intended 
by the way to impeach this law to affirm, that is, 
inexplicable or irrelevant variation as a proof of 
spontaneity there seems to be no contention. To 
say that there are more differences in nature than 
some people have thought is to say nothing. To 
say that there is, in supposed inorganic constants, 
rational, progressive, and significant variation, would 
be to say something ; but to this, as we shall show, 
the facts lend no kind of countenance. To say, first, 
that variability in conduct due to minds establishes 
indeterminate spontaneity, and that this excludes 
Uniformity in the logical sense what I prefer to 
call " relevancy " and, further, that such spontaneity 
is also to be presumed as a fact in what we take for 
natural elements, and in their behaviour, would, 
indeed, be to say something. And considering the 
belief in an antagonism between individuality and 
general law which accompanies the views we are 
discussing, it seems probable that we are really in 
presence of such an attempt to discredit the con- 
ception of logical nexus the conception of relevancy, 
which is what logicians mean by uniformity alike 
in nature and in what we know as mind. This 
may be disclaimed ; but, strictly speaking, it is the 
only thing that can be meant. 2 The contention, 

1 Mill, Logic, chapter on Ground of Induction ; Green, Works, 
ii. 282, 288-90, "The Conception of the ' Unity of the World'"; 
author's Logic, 2nd ed., ii. 164, 183. 

2 It is clear, I think, that both Ward and Taylor are prepared to 
maintain that a given cause may vary its operation spontaneously. 
See below, p. 96, note. 


otherwise interpreted, to the effect that atoms of 
the same element are not, in fact, all of the same 
size, is not a philosophical contention at all. The 
point is worth examining, if only to throw light on 
the true interest of Social Statistics. 

3. The argument rests on a comparison of social Physical 
statistics with those physical measurements which 
can only be carried out with reference to enormous ^ 
numbers of units en masse. You cannot, it is urged, avera g es - 
isolate an atom of oxygen. When you represent 
its atomic weight by 16, all you mean is that this 
figure results from the measurement en masse of an 
enormous number of atoms, the result being attri- 
buted with hypothetical equality of distribution to 
each single atom; in short, you have got an average 
figure like the average height or weight of school 
children of a certain age, or like an actuarial estimate 
of the prospect of life for individuals under certain 
conditions. Such average figures, of course, are 
true of a class or group as a whole for certain 
purposes, but not of each individual ; and, indeed, 
their value lies, ^ve might say, in not pretending 
to represent the individual but in simply serving 
the purpose for which they are computed some 
collective result or comparison. 

So, too, it is urged, the atoms of oxygen, for all 
we know by measurement, may not be rigidly equal 
at atomic weight 16, but may oscillate round this 
amount, as any statistical figures oscillate round the 
arithmetical mean. In the physical measurement, 
it is said, we have only the total, from which we 
infer an average, and we cannot get at the indi- 
viduals to measure them separately ; in social 
statistics enumeration and separate measurement 


are possible, and, therefore, we are able to criticise 
the average figure, and the criticism gives rise to 
the suggestion before us. 

In this way, the contention is, we can see that 
a figure representing some character of a social 
group is single and may be constant, without indi- 
cating any absence of variety among the individuals 
composing the group. And, therefore, analogy 
suggests that minute physical elements may after 
all be various, and endowed with life and spon- 
taneity, seeing that there may be what one might 
call social constants, as well as physical constants, 
though no one doubts the variability of the members 
of the social group. 

To me all this argumentation sounds like special 

pleading. The distribution of mentality in nature 

seems to be a mere issue of fact. It is the suggestio 

falstus to Uniformity and its antagonism to mind that 

I desire to combat. I will mention one or two points. 

Average" i. Am I wholly wrong in thinking it necessary 

stanfdis- to say, first of all, that we must distinguish an 

tmguished. avera g e f rom a cons tant ? You can strike an 

average from any set of figures ; but whether it 
is or is not a constant depends on a comparison of 
averages representing groups in some way different. 
Thus, it is true that if an atomic weight is only a 
single average, it admits of any degree of variation 
in the actual atoms; but, for the same reason, if 
the social statistic is only a single average, it offers 
no suggestion of constancy in the social phenomena. 
So far, there is nothing against the suggestion that 
physical elements vary ; but there is nothing for the 
suggestion that social phenomena can present the 
appearance of constancy. You can take the average 


of 2, 10, and 10,000 without the slightest implication 
that the figures averaged show any uniformity. 

ii. To establish a constant average, the averages in com 
of different groups or periods must be compared, 
or else the approximation of the several figures 
averaged, to their average, must be directly noted 
a method ex hypothesi impossible with minute 
physical elements. 

But here, when we compare physical and true 
social phenomena, the analogy breaks down. The 
physical measurements, for all accessible groups of 
units with the same name (similar atoms, similar 
wave-lengths, etc.) are ex kypothesi identical; true 
social measurements, as opposed to physical ones, 
for comparable groups under different conditions 
and in different periods, deviate as a rule pro- 
gressively and intelligibly. It is not true, on the 
whole, that they oscillate round constant amounts 
or tend to come back to them "in the long run." 1 
The early statistics, which seem to have created 
this impression, were in part, I suspect, fallaciously 
handled, and we?e also drawn from inadequate 
periods of time. 2 

1 Contrast Taylor, Elements^ p. 221. 

2 Presupposing, of course, that no statistical constancy could be 
relevant to Buckle's anti-freewill conclusions (cf. Ward, i. in), it 
still remains a question of some interest whether the sort of constancy 
which impressed him, Quetelet, and even Mill (Logic^ ii. 529) really 
existed or exists. I can see nothing in Quetelet's tables to justify 
his own saying, that from the figures of one year it is possible to 
predict those of the next. I have not been able, as I had wished, 
to find completer material in order to criticise the famous instance of 
the percentage of unaddressed letters on the whole number posted. 
But modern statistics of true social phenomena, as I point out in the 
text, show no signs of fixity, and if any uniformity at all, it is a 
uniform rate of change of ratio. It is more than a mere matter 
of curiosity, for I feel sure that, e.g., Venn and Ward and Taylor 
have been influenced by the audacity of the Quetelet and Buckle 


True social statistics, figures 'which depend 
directly or indirectly on human conduct, such as 
the records of crime and pauperism, and in a great 
degree those of health, are marked in general by 
extraordinary sensitiveness, being subject, for dif- 
ferent groupings or successive periods, to definite 
adapted or progressive variations, which show no 
sign of oscillation round a fixed point, and are 
readily explicable' in connection with changes of 
moral and material conditions. The records of 
crime and pauperism for the nineteenth century are 
ample proof of this. 1 If these facts are considered 

statements, as to the degree of constancy in the long run which they 
allow to be assumed. See Venn, Empirical Logic, p. 580 ; Taylor, 
Elements, p. 221 ; Ward, loc. tit. There is extraordinary laxity of 
statement on such matters, e.g. Venn (Logic of 'Chance ', 3rd ed., p. 241) 
speaks and makes Laplace speak of the number of unaddressed 
letters remaining the same year by year. All other authorities speak 
of Disproportion (ratio). I have not seen the tables. With what 
number Quetelet expected the next year's figures of suicides to agree, 
whether the average, or actual figures of the current year, or the 
ratio to population, I can form no idea. 

1 E.g. "Chart of principal Classes of Crime, 1858 to 1898" 
(Criminal Statistics, 1898), or any chart of pauperism for the latter 
half of the nineteenth century. No doubt a progressive decrease must 
have a limit ; but an irreducible minimum, e.g. in pauperism, such 
as experts conceive of, would not be a mere statistical mean, but 
would be a new fact, causally explained. To show how slippery is 
this question of the persistence of social constants I cite two passages 
from Venn, which the slight difference of the subjects concerned does 
not seem to me sufficient to reconcile: Empirical Logic, p. 580 
(Murder, Thefts, Suicides, Sums expended in charitable or other 
such purposes, or Insurances effected in the year) : " But of such 
portions of human conduct as of most other portions, it is a simple 
datum of experience, that in the long run, when we extend our obser- 
vations over a sufficient space, a great and growing degree of uni- 
formity is generally observable." Cf. Logic of Chance, p. 91 : 
" These conditions (health, circumstances, manners and customs of 
the parents ; the question is of the ratio of sex to sex at birth) par- 
taking of the nature of what we term generally Progress and Civilisa- 
tion, cannot be expected to show any permanent disposition to hover 
about an average." 

A careful study of Buckle, Quetelet, and the authorities cited by 


the alleged aftalogy between physical and social 
constants, beyond the fact that any one group of 
figures can be represented by an average figure, 

4. And it seems necessary to distinguish between Physical 
the principle of what may be called second-class 
and first-class statistics. Second-class statistics are 
those which aim at discounting unknown causes by j^ 
including, as near as may be, their whole cycle. 
Such is the method we instinctively adopt, if in 
order to estimate the number of words in every line 
of our MS., we count them for, say, a dozen lines, 
and take the average as our guide to the normal 
number in a line. We hope that the main causes 
of difference in the number of words per line will 
have occurred within the single dozen, and that the 
average on the whole, perhaps of ten thousand lines, 
will be much the same as that in the dozen which 
we have counted. We do not trouble ourselves to 
think what may cause the numbers to vary, but 
merely hope that we have got a fair sample of all 
the effects of the* unknown causes, and that our 
average, therefore, is a constant. Of such a nature 
would be, according to the hypothesis before us, 
the measurement of atomic weights and of ethereal 

them leaves no doubt that what they, like Mill, mean to insist on is 
relevant variation, t.c. that the figures are constant under constant 
conditions, and vary with varying ones. But adopting the unfor- 
tunate terms uniformity and regularity, they are to some extent 
hypnotised by them, as appears I think from the case in which Mr. 
Rawson uses the word " constants," cited in Buckle, i. 31. I can- 
not help repeating the suggestion, rash as it may appear, that an 
undue influence is exercised in discussions of constancy by the fact 
that an average figure can be struck for any single period, however 
prolonged, containing recurrent counts ; which, of course, apart from 
the comparison of averages for parts of the period, is a mere arith- 
metical tautology, leading to no inference of any kind. 


vibrations ; such is the determination of average 
durations of life in specified callings or for specified 
categories of the population. The essence is the 
absence of all attempt to suggest causes of the 
observed variations. The method is one which 
deals with them qua unknown. 1 

But as Sigwart has said, 2 it is really by their 
variations that statistics are suggestive; and it is 
when we come to such comparisons as different 
death-rates under different sanitary conditions, or 
different rates of pauperism under different systems 
of administration, that we approach the province 
of what might be called first-class statistics. In 
these we no longer operate with numbers of recur- 
rences of effects, admitting our ignorance of their 
causes. It is like the difference between a state- 
ment of chances giving, say, the chance of an 
individual dying of smallpox, based on the ratio of 
cases to population, and the statement based on 
highly complete causal knowledge giving, say, the 
chances for the throws of a perfect die. We pass 
beyond the disjunction of ignorance under X, so 
many cases a, so many b, we have not the least 
notion why into the province of the disjunction of 
knowledge ; x being a gives a } being /3 gives b, etc., 
and we know there is nothing persistent in favour 

1 It may be said, that the very specification of the category to be 
dealt with involves the suggestion of a cause ; e.g. duration of life of 
bachelors, married men, clergy, saw grinders, etc. The fact is that 
a unity which has an interest, has also an incipient causal presump- 
tion. It is true that when comparison begins to work in this way, a 
transition to first-class statistics is suggested. But primarily, e.g. 
for actuarial purposes or for simple compendiousness in keeping 
records, no such suggestion is involved. 

2 Eng. Trans, ii. 501. This, I think, must be borne in mind as a 
mitigation of Taylor's statement that taking an average must always 
give results which have a mechanical appearance (Elements, p. 331). 


of a more thah of /3 and the rest, and vice versa. 
Variations in ratio of crime and pauperism, variations 
in the occurrence and fatality of diseases, variations 
of the general death-rate of a community, and per- 
haps also of its birth-rate, are capable in different 
degrees of being correlated with assignable causes, 
and become more intelligible as they become more 
divergent, and so in the superficial sense less con- 
stant. It is true that statistical conclusions as such 
remain hypothetical as regards incidence on indi- 
viduals. We may see that a death-rate must 
diminish, but we do not know which individuals 
will be saved, nor, from the death-rate alone, which 
have been saved. But the unexplained variation is 
no longer the typical datum, nor the assumption of 
it the ideal of method. We can go to meet the 
statistical figure from the other end, with precise 
analytic explanations of the individual case, given 
his health, his morals, his economic history. 1 In 
dealing with social phenomena, this, the variable 
and individual element, is the climax of intelligi- 
bility. Not constancy, but explicable or relevant 
variation is the typical character of the measure- 
ments involved. Even the roughest methods, pro- 
perly used, can give no such analogy as is asserted 
by the argument we are discussing. And the more 
we perfect the measurements, the less the analogy 

5. It was suggested above that the argument in 
question the argument from non-uniformity to ui! n f 
spontaneity in nature depends on a false con- J^* y 
ception of the Uniformity of Nature. It aims at theories of 

r ' similarity 

1 Taylor seems to exaggerate the opposite view to this (Elements^ 
PP- 234-5). 


disproving what we may call the uniformity of 
Similarity, expressed in the principle that the future 
will repeat or resemble the past, or, more generally, 
that one thing of a kind will simply repeat another. 
But this, as was observed above, is not the meaning 
of Uniformity as a logical principle or postulate 
of Science. No doubt the name Uniformity, pro- 
posed by Mill, was a misleading appellation for the 
postulate of rational system and coherence in the 
world of experience. But Mill, like others after 
him, clearly explained that the Uniformity of Nature 
does not mean that the future will resemble the 
past. This may seem a superfluous discussion of a 
familiar point. But, in truth, the prejudice which 
interprets the Uniformity of Nature as the principle 
of science, in the sense which Mill was careful to 
reject, 1 is at the root of the whole recent polemic 
against the intelligence, and rests on something far 
deeper than a mere verbal confusion. It springs 
from a deep-rooted impulse to misconceive and 
mutilate the whole activity of thought, which is, in 
essence, a recrudescence of the* superstition that its 
work is purely analytic. Wherever in recent litera- 
ture, from John Henry Newman to Mr. Kidd, from 
M. Tarde and Professor Baldwin to M. Bergson and 
his followers, we find emphasised the solvent and 
analytic character of intellect, or the antithesis of 
Imitation and Invention, of Repetition and Creation, 
there, I am convinced, we have a fundamental 
error of principle depending on a vicious logical 

1 I do not forget that Professor Taylor believes himself faithful 
to the law of Ground and Consequent (pp. tit. p. 230). But I cannot 
reconcile this attitude with his prolonged advocacy of inexactness in 
nature. What point can there be in this, if it only means that some 
variations, relevant and grounded, escape our notice ? 


theory. 1 The hopeless failure of all these theories 
to deal with the nature of genius, with creation and 
invention, 2 shows that we have before us an abstrac- 
tion of elements the elements of identity and 
diversity, which in the attempt to dissociate them be- 
come unmeaning and contradictory. Invention and 
creation are really present in every pulse of thought, 
in every employment of significant language, and 
pure repetition is an impossibility for intelligence. 8 

Uniformity, then, as a principle of science, is a 
uniformity not in the way of resemblance but in the 
way of identity ; not a repetition of resembling 
elements but the coherence of differences in a whole. 
It should be called by some such name as Relevancy. 
An argument which is directed against the former 
and leaves the latter standing, admits everything 
that can be demanded by a reasonable mechanistic 
view of the universe. Nothing is gained against 
uniformity by making it probable that atoms vary 
in size, if their variation is not assumed to be in 
principle irrelevant to their conditions. 

The argument set out to show that a psychical 
or at least a spontaneous character, incompatible 
with mechanical uniformity, might be presumed in 
physical objects ; and offered to reveal how the 
appearance of constancy in them was analogous to 
one which must arise in connection with subjects 
whom we know to be psychical. But what has 
appeared on examination of it is that the only true 
principle of uniformity (Relevancy), so far from 
being incompatible with a psychical character, is in 

1 See author's Logic, 2nd ed., vol. ii. p. 174 ff. 

2 SceLect VIII. below. 
3 Nettleship on use of language, Remains, i. 128. 


the highest degree applicable to the prerogative 
case of mind, and that the more nearly as we 
approach the individual subject. 1 So that instead of 
defeating the principle in alleged physical objects, 
the argument has forced us to assert it in true 
psychical objects. The important point is to dis- 
own the idea that the establishment of great de facto 
variety either disproves true Uniformity (Relevancy) 
or proves a psychical nature ; and that there is any 
kind of connection between the disproof of the one and 
the proof of the other. Such an idea sets us wrong 
ab initio in our attitude to the characteristics of con- 
sciousness, teaching us to connect it with eccentricity 
and caprice the negation of coherent system 
instead of with system and rationality. The same 
fundamental error identifies the spontaneity of life 
with an unmotived diversity, and intelligence proper 
with an impotent identity. 

It is not indefinite variation but coherent pro- 
gressiveness and adaptiveness that we take as 
indications of consciousness. And in this feature, 
as we have seen, the argument has failed to sustain 
the alleged approximation of what is called matter 
to mind. 

The point is somewhat subtle, and I will restate 
it against an objection which might be drawn from 
our own reasoning. Why you complain, it may be 
replied, of taking breach of uniformity of resem- 
blance as a proof of psychical character, and yet 
such a breach is the very difference which you allege 
between inorganic and social statistics to prove that 

1 The living organism, so far from being outside the province of 
intelligence (Bergson, Evolution crtatrice) being in the strict sense 
the only thing we can really understand (Caird, Kant^ ii. 530). 
See, however, note, p. 168, on Bergson's " Intuition." 


the latter do and the former do not suggest con- 
scious spontaneity. 

Our answer would be, insisting on what we have 
said, that what we allege to indicate psychical 
spontaneity is not mere breach of the uniformity of 
resemblance, but systematic progress! ven ess and 
adaptiveness of response. What we combat is the 
suggestio falsi based on confusing rational identity 
in diversity with the recurrence of resemblances 
that we approach the psychical by coming near to 
the inexplicable ; a suggestion by which the argu- 
ment for universal mentality draws the popular love 
of the marvellous to its side. Treating this sug- 
gestion, however, as indefensible and probably not 
meant to be defended, we confine ourselves to ex- 
plicable variation, which, in any degree of it, is no 
breach of the uniformity (Relevancy) of Nature. 
This kind of variation we see no reason to deny, if 
theory requires it, in physical phenomena hitherto 
supposed to be uniformly similar ; but we insist 
on the fact that in regions which we know to be 
psychical there is ribt only variation but progressive 
and adaptive variation correlated with changes of 
volition. And therefore a we maintain the prima 
facie difference between material and psychical 
existence ; and ft we insist that in the mental pro- 
vince the true Uniformity of Nature exhibits itself 
in the fullest and completest sense. The concep- 
tion of relaxing uniformity to make room for mind 
in nature means a failure to face the problem of 
externality as the antithesis of subjective "mind" 
on the one hand * and the problem of free initiative 
or creative logic on the other. 2 

1 See Lect. X. 2 See Lect. IX. 


6. The same fallacy is apparent ia the idea that 
the conditions of individuality conflict with the 
postulate of universal law. 

i t joes not muc h matter in what details this idea 


asserts itself. It is the same thing throughout; a 
denial of relevant adjustment, confused with a denial 
of similar repetition. An efficient cause, we are 
told, for example, need not be uniform in its action. 1 
This is intended, it would seem, to guard the 
spontaneity of true causal activity, considered as 
that of a subject. It can only mean that a cause A, 
without variation of conditions as between B and C, 
can produce out of itself alternatively effects b and 
c. Such spontaneity, of course, would mean not 
adjustment, but failure of adjustment, a complete 
denial of Relevancy. To stimulus B, A might 
respond with reaction c, to stimulus C with b. We 
are told again, that Individuality is unique and the 
self impervious. 2 This is its character, not acci- 
dentally, but essentially ; its essence is to be sui 
generis? It is the playground of contingency. 
Laws cannot be shown to ber absolutely exact ; 
purposive life cannot coexist with rigid routine 
conformity to general law. 4 Everywhere the polemic 
is against the character of rigidity, fixity, repetition, 
supposed to be inherent in the nature of law, and 
to be the same thing with adequacy and precision 
of measurable adjustment. Spontaneity is held to 

1 Ward, Naturalism, ii. 241. Contrast Joseph, Introduction to 
Logic, p. 374 : " Let us ask what is involved in the conception of a 
cause not acting uniformly ; we shall see that it is the same as if we 
denied the existence of causal connections altogether." 

2 Seth, Hegelianism and Personality, pp. 225-8 ; cf. Taylor, 
Elements , p. 282. 

3 Ward, Naturalism, ii. 163-66. 

4 Taylor, Elements, p. 223. 


be throughout \\\ escaping from general rules, i.e. rules 
of recurring resemblance. The idea of identity in 
difference seems never to be applied. For if it were, 
fineness of adjustment, precision, and relevancy of 
determinate response, would be recognised as the 
very incarnation of the universal, and so of life and 
spontaneity which are one with it. The whole 
contention, there can be little doubt, reflects the 
modern tendency to pronounce intelligence not 
merely in fact but in principle inadequate to life 
and reality. 1 It is difficult indeed to see how this 
tendency can accord with the attempt sometimes 
conjoined with it, to enthrone the finite conscious- 
ness as the director of history and evolution. But 
the fact is, that we are here on the edge of pluralism 
and voluntarism, and although the term direction is 
employed, the guidance by the finite consciousness 
as the independent controller and reformer of 
destiny, divorced from an immanent real, is a blind 
leading of the blind. For Ward no less than for 
Bergson reality is richer than thought, history is the 
type of the Absolute, and the true concrete world of 
philosophy drops away. 2 

At all events what we have to deal with is this. 
The work of the intelligence is conceived as the 
formulation of general rules of repetition or resem- 
blance, by which everything new is analysed in 
terms of the old. 8 And the principle of intelligence, 
thus understood, is naturally conceived to have no 

1 As in Bergson passim^ e.g. Avolution^ p. 175. It is important to 
note how old this tendency is, dating at least from Schopenhauer, 
and backed by revived religionism (J. H. Newman). 

2 See, however, as to Bergson A. D. Lindsay's Philosophy of 
Bergson^ ch. v. I adhere to the statement in the text. 

3 Bergson, ^volution^ p. 177. 



grasp or purchase on vital and purposive reality. 1 
The conception of teleology, indeed, is exploited to 
eke out the missing character of rationality. We 
shall see later how far it justifies the attitude 

Our attitude is, on the other hand, that the 
principle of life and reality is one throughout, 
and is the principle of individuality, and that this 
can be traced in all forms of experience, none of 
which are to be taken as superseding or as dis- 
continuous with each other. Finite intelligence, 
for example, will not be superseded by but also will 
not supersede, any other form of finite experience, 
though it may lead up to a perfect experience 
other than itself. We must avoid the two com- 
plementary errors, of which modern philosophy 
appears to us to be full, and which have one and 
the same root. We must not identify intelligence 
with cognition the error of alleged Intellectualism, 
committed mainly if not exclusively by its antagonists 
and make it, so interpreted, the guide and rule of 
life. We must not, on the other hand, influenced 
by aversion to this error, set up as sovereign any 
form of spontaneity, activity, subjective teleology, 
or intuition of life, against the character of intelli- 
gence as the active form of totality and nisus towards 
the whole. We must distinguish the character of 
thought in its widest and deepest sense as the active 
form and logical spirit which lives in all modes and 
contents of experience, from the discursive abstract 
thinking which is one shape a typical or schematic 
outline of the operations of mind. We must under- 

1 The grasp of universals, it is held, marks the failure of insight 
and interest (Ward, Naturalism, i. no, ii. 90). 


stand how all ' sides and features approach their 
respective completions concurrently and convergently 
as the underlying principle of individuality expresses 
itself more thoroughly through a more determinate 
grasp of the content of the world. The conscious 
intelligence is not to be dethroned ; it remains above 
the unconscious, as a revelation of what is there 
implicit, and as a fuller phase of the remodelling of 
self by adaptation to the whole. But it is not to be 
one-sidedly sovereign either as abstract cognition 
or again as finite mind or will, furnishing direction 
out of its own isolated contingency. It is neither a 
subordinate means to evolution, nor an independent 
rational agent in a world which is mere material 
for its spontaneity. It is simply the principle of 
Individuality permeating all experience, but when 
taken in abstract shape constituting that side of 
experience which we call discursive thought. We 
will now follow more in detail the nature of the 
fallacy which sets Individuality and Spontaneity 
in contrast to universal law. 

i. We may start from Lotze. 1 False ideas 

of what 

The Absolute is no magician, it does not produce 
Things in appropriate places out of a sheer vacuum, merely 
because they correspond to the purport of its plan. All 
particular cases of its operation are based on a system of 
management according to law, adapted to its operation as 
a whole. But I must repeat : it is not here as it is with 
man, who cannot do otherwise ; rather this uniformity 
with general principles is itself a part of what is designed 
to exist Hence it is, that each stage in the development 
of organic life seems to arise step by step out of the 
reactions which are made necessary for the combined 

1 Metaphysic, sect. 233 ; cf. Introduction, Eng. Trans, p. x. 


elements by their persistent nature ; rfor is there any- 
where an exception to the dependence of Life on 
, mechanical causes. 

Here we find stated the view which seems prima 
facie reasonable. But the protest which accompanies 
it suggests the contrast of law and individuality, 
which since Lotze's day has developed so as to 
destroy the doctrine to which in his hands it was 

The protest, which opposes the idea of law to the 
idea of an individual system, rests on the fallacy that 
a plurality of undifferentiated points of application 
is essential to the universality of a law that the 
universality of a law, in a word, must be embodied 
in a class of similars. This fallacy is the same at 
its root with the negative or exclusive doctrine 
of individuality. It depends, as has been pointed 
out, on the confusion of similarity and identity, 
by which a scientific truth is supposed to be 
essentially the expression of an attribute in which 
a great number of instances resemble one another. 
But the view of sound logic is rather that a scientific 
truth is the expression of a definite connection of 
contents within a system an identity pervading a 
number of distinct determinations whose connection 
does not lie in resemblance of the elements to one 
another, although certain resemblances may and 
must result from the interconnection. 1 Thus, for 
example, it is possible to regard the law of gravita- 
tion as a record of certain resemblances between all 
particles of matter. But this resemblance is really 
secondary. The point which constitutes the theory 2 

1 See author's Logic, 2nd ed., ii. 174 ff. 2 Green, Works^ ii. 288. 


is the conception of the systematic relation between 
the distance and the attraction, and the contribution 
which this conception makes to the further deter- 
mination of the nature of the physical world. When 
the nature of the gravitating system is so far 
revealed, the resemblances following from the partial 
identity so far established between portions of 
matter are a corollary. But the basis of the resem- 
blances could not be established, except by analysing 
them into the precise partial identity which is 
expressed in the determinate interrelation of parts 
within the gravitating system. So in the easy 
example of a machine, say, a steam-engine. The 
universal in which the members participate is the 
working of the engine, which primarily depends 
upon the differing adaptations of the members to 
their purpose. Certain partial identities, giving 
rise to resemblances, are involved in these adapta- 
tions, as, for example, that all the parts must share 
a certain degree of strength and toughness and 
durability. But no machine, no city, no system, 
could be made out of merely similar members. 
Even a number of undistinguishable coins, if they 
are to operate upon each other's value, must be 
taken as affecting one another by a relation which 
is not their resemblance, i.e. the relation of co- 
operating towards the supply of some demand. 
The distinction is no doubt a truism. But it is an 
embarrassing fact that forgetfulness of such truisms 
forms a leading feature of the most modern philo- 
sophy. If they were not forgotten, no one could 
treat a Universal Law or statement of a uniformity 
of nature as a generality which depends for its truth 
on the recurrence of similar qualities or events. 


And consequently there could be rfio reason for 
suggesting that a universal law is not a necessary 
element in the conception of a system or individual. 
The fact is that Plurality and Repetition, which are 
the medium of generalities as commonly understood, 
are relatively unimportant subforms of universality. 
This is a consideration which goes very deep into 
the modern attitude towards the intelligence. We 
are constantly being told l that the intelligence can 
deal with nothing but repetitions. This is simply 
an echo of the Logic of extension and classification 
which, greatly as it has been amplified of late, can 
never, surely, give a genuine account of know- 

Every ii. We may take the matter further than this. 

is a The relation of the universal law to the individual 
f system is closely typified by that of the Hypothetical 
to the Categorical Judgment, or of Science to 
Philosophy. The individual is essentially the 
province of Categorical judgment, the abstract 
universal of the Hypothetical ; and we might venture 
to say that the Categorical judgment is the sphere 
of Philosophy, the Hypothetical of science. Philo- 
sophy deals with affirmations about the universe ; 
Science with the interdependence of details within 
the universe 2 the precise consequents of conditions 
precisely assigned. Thus every Hypothetical judg- 
ment every relation of antecedent and consequent 

1 E.g. Bergson, passim. Ward (Naturalism, ii. 280) points out 
that in History, where we have less of repetition, we understand 
better, than, e.g. in exact science. Cf. p. 94 for a similar contrast 
between Caird and Bergson. In Paulsen, Einleitung, p. 384, to which 
Ward refers, the polar antithesis of Begreifen and Verstehen is 
suspect to me. It involves saying that you drop determinateness as 
you approach true concreteness, which I do not believe. 

2 Caird, Kant, ii. 312. 


is within, and founded upon, a categorically 
asserted ground or relatively individual system. 
Geometrical truth is only true if there is space; 1 
economic truth holds only within the economic 
world ; biological truth belongs to the kingdom of 
organic life. The abstract truth traces the detailed 
connections which go to constitute the concrete 
being ; and the nature of the relation implies that 
every concrete being is a system, the analysis of 
whose detail may be expressed as abstract truth. 
We are not saying that any number of Hypotheticals 
can be equivalent to a categorical truth, or that a 
series of abstractions taken together can be equivalent 
to an individual reality ; but we are saying that 
every individual, every living world, as, on the one 
hand, it has its own system of truths which hold 
good only within and presupposing it, so, on the 
other hand, possesses in these truths a system of 
determinations, each of which, when its background 
and foundation are made explicit, realises the 
character of a universal nexus as once true always 
true. It is always true, because it carries its full 
conditions with it. A judgment of colour harmony, 
or of decorative or dramatic fitness, or of appropriate 
biological response to environment, or of morality, 
may, or rather must be, the proper background pre- 
supposed, as necessary as a geometrical axiom ; and 
if equally necessary, it possesses, considering the 

1 I suppose this would be disputed on the ground that geometrical 
reasoning is independent of experience. I cannot think that such 
a view is tenable. It is one thing to distinguish inference from 
observation of fact ; another thing to say that you can think or infer 
in any matter without immersing the mind in that matter. As for 
the truth of new kinds of geometry, I suppose that they are affirmed of 
reality under a precise reservation, and so may be necessary even if 
their objects are impossible. 


greater fulness of its content, a considerably higher 
degree of truth. If the background or basis of 
relation is wanting the judgment is meaningless and 
cannot be thought. 

The universality of such a determination, which 
derives from the nature of the whole present within 
it, lies in its embodiment of the spirit of the whole 
to which it belongs. A potential plurality of similar 
instances under it a potential generality or repeti- 
tion, follows as a corollary in finite experience. But 
it is a character of imperfection in such experience, 
and not of perfection. For the ideal of uniqueness, 
if rightly understood, is in truth one which attaches 
to a perfect individuality and its members. A mis- 
interpretation of this character of uniqueness is at 
the root of the view which finds an antagonism 
between individuality and universal law. So far 
from uniqueness being antagonistic to universality, 
the ideal of a universal nexus is to be embodied in 
the unique. This must be so, if the identity of 
Indiscernibles is a true principle a mere repetition 
is pro tanto fatal to comprehensif eness, 1 because it 
tends to collapse into featureless unity, leaving no 
differences to comprehend. And in fact, the nearer 
any experience approaches to an unmotived repeti- 
tion, the more we feel ourselves in the province 
of error and confusion. Why should any being 
express a second time what has been adequately 
expressed before, or how can such a repetition carry 
knowledge forward? A repetition which is not 
unmotived but demanded stands on different 

1 Taking comprehensiveness, width, inclusiveness, generality, as 
simple equivalents of universality, indisputable even to common 


ground ; the mere fact that it is demanded (as in a 
decorative repeat) rests on a difference in the situa- 
tion and makes it in principle unique. The thing 
is obvious if we think of the ultimate universal as 
the spirit of a single system, constituted by differ- 
ences which have for their function to develop and 
manifest the content of its nature. The nexus of 
these differences, in the system which is the uni- 
versal, is a system of laws, each of which is general 
by holding together the diverse expression of the 
one life and spirit. It is no less obvious if we think 
of the completest types of individuality which finite 
experience furnishes, such as a work of art, or a 
person, or a highly unified society. In a work of 
art, a picture, or a poem, every particular effect is 
unique in the sense that it says something special 
and distinctive, dependent on the nature of the 
whole which reveals one of its aspects in that deter- 
minate arrangement on which the effect depends. 1 

And we must have read Plato's Philebus and 
Aristotle's Ethics to very little purpose if we do not 
understand that, in* principle, the fullest universal of 
character and consciousness will embody itself in 
the finest and most specialised and unrepeatable 
responses to environment ; and that life, and 
especially its intensified forms as morality or know- 
ledge, do not consist in observing general rules, but 
in reacting adequately, with logical, that is, with fine 
and creative adjustment to the ever-varying com- 
plexities of situations. Precision, measurableness, 
and universal law, these are in the moral act, but 
they are features of the solution of problems by 
constructive organisation, and not of obedience to 

1 Cf. Essentials of Logic, p. 57. 


abstract rule, and the same thing is ^relatively true 
of the adjustments and arrangements of a highly 
unified society. 1 

Now every such determination the relation of 
every colour, point, and line in a Turner picture, of 
the members of the rhythm in a poem, of intervals 
of time in an act of patience or courage all these 
are more well and truly to be designated universal 
laws and connections than the truths of number 
and geometry, or statements of the characters of 
an organic genus or species. They presuppose 
indeed a far more special and concrete world or 
background than the world of space and time in the 
abstract, or than the world of plants or animals. 
But they are no less necessary, and much more uni- 
versal ; for they imply the world of spatio-temporal 
abstraction, and many other worlds besides, and 
embody a system of differences much more pro- 
foundly connected, and a much fuller and more 
coherent grade of reality and revelation of the 
nature of things. 2 

True, a Hi. What we really mean in contrasting Individ- 

uality with general law is explained by the contrast 
between different degrees of Individuality, of which 

deeper. j rp^ g enera ] j aWj j t ma y ^ e g^^ j s a statement of some common 

character which can be elicited from the relevant reactions of 
members in a system. But where the universal is well developed, 
there will be no similarity in the sense of repetition. There will be 
a completing of one element by others. Cf. on the whole subject a 
paper on " Theoria in Aristotle's Ethics/' International Journal of 
Ethics, January 1911, reprinted below in Appendix II. 

2 I hold it to be a fundamental error, and a most instructive one, 
on the part of M. Bergson to think that the human intelligence is 
especially at home in geometry, and less satisfied and less efficient 
as its work is remote from cognition of that type. The error is due to 
measuring the at homeness of intelligence by its apparent purity or 
independence ; but this purity just means that it has hardly begun 
to discover its full self. Cf. pp. 94 ff. 


the lower enter into but do not complete the 
higher. Thus, as we have seen, it is perfectly true 
that laws of the world of time or space will not 
furnish the content of art or personality. But this 
is simply because they fall short of the requisite 
universality.. They have too little to say of what 
there is in the world, and their necessity is 
dependent on a far simpler background than that 
of the living whole within which the fine adjust- 
ments of art or of morality have their inevitable 

This contrast, which is incontestable, and which 
applies also in its degree to the chemical and bio- 
logical worlds as compared with the province of 
self-conscious and volitional life, is apt to be ex- 
ploited with a recklessness and ruthlessness which 
falsifies the theory of individuality, and cuts the 
membership of the universe apart with a hatchet. 

The Laplacean imagination of the ideal calculator 
is being held up in terrorem 1 as representing the 

1 Ward, Naturalism, i. % 4 1 ; Bergson, Evolution crtatrice, p. 4 1 ; Ver- 
worn, AUgemeine Physiologic, Eng. Trans. 31 ff. Dubois Raymond 
apparently pointed out that "an astronomical knowledge of the brain " 
could never indicate to us how consciousness arises ; a limit which is 
analogous to the limit suggested below, that without special experience 
it could never indicate to us what consciousness would accompany 
each special physical condition. Cp. " Nous devons done envisager 
Wtat present de 1'univers comme Peffet de son &at ant^rieur et comme 
la cause de celui qui va suivre. Une intelligence qui, pour un 
instant donnd, connaitrait toutes les forces dont la nature est animee, 
et la situation respective des 6tres qui la composent, si d'ailleurs elle 
thait assez vaste pour soumettre ces donndes a 1'analyse, embrasserait 
dans la mcme formule les mouvements des plus grands corps de 
Punivers et ceux du plus teger atome ; rien ne serait incertain pour 
elle, et Pavenir comme le pass serait present a ses yeux. L'esprit 
humain offre, dans la perfection qu'il a su donner a P Astronomic, 
une faible esquisse de cet intelligence. Ses ddcouvertes en M&anique 
et en Gdomdtrie, jointes a celle de la pesanteur universelle, Pont mis 
a porte de comprendre dans les memes expressions analytiques, les 


presumptuous pretensions of the intelligence and 
furnishing their reductio ad absurdum. Now it 
cannot be doubted that the ideal in question not 
merely is, as Laplace observed, at an infinite dis- 
tance from the possibility of practice, but contains 
a theoretical defect. But it is very important in 
what we take this defect to consist, and how far it 
goes to suggest an inadequacy of intelligence to the 

In the first place, it is a mistake to assume that 
such a scheme of calculation is typical of the real 
work of intelligence in connecting individuality with 
universal law. And in the second place it is an 
exaggeration to argue that calculations of the type 
imagined founded, that is, on very general charac- 
teristics of the spatio - temporal world have in 
principle no value at all for the interpretation and 
even the prediction of what is most individual. 

First, then, such a scheme of calculation is not 
truly typical of intelligence in its dealings with law. 
Intelligence is fundamentally creative and synthetic, 
and the more so, the more concrete the world with 
which it deals. Now though there is literally no 
such thing as a purely analytic work of intelligence, 
yet in the treatment of homogeneous quantity the 
synthetic element is reducible to a minimum. We 
might perhaps assume the supposed calculation to 
take a form not exposed to the extreme objection, 

tats passes ct futurs du systeme du monde. En appliquant la 
meme m^thode a quelques autres objets dc scs connaissances, il est 
parvenu a ramener a des lois generates les phenomtL-nes observes, et 
h. pr^voir ceux que des circonstances donnces doivent faire clore. 
Tous ces efforts dans la recherche de la vcrite tendent a le rapprocher 
sans cesse de ^intelligence que nous venous de concevoir, mais dont 
il restera toujours infiniment &oigne." Laplace, Essai ptiihsophiqtte 
sur les probability, p. 3. 


based on a theoretical defect, that from the move- 
ments of a matter conceived as absolutely homo- 
geneous and uniform no difference and therefore 
nothing could arise. 1 For the knowledge of data 
assumed in the hypothesis might furnish a basis for 
scientific prediction apart from the extreme concep- 
tion of homogeneity criticised by Leibniz and later 
writers ; and it would still remain a question of 
theoretical importance how far predictions of life 
and conduct could be deduced by calculation from 
any physical data whatever. If the responses of 
" mind " were to be known beforehand as readily as 
the phases of youth and age, or of disease, or of the 
reactions of the lower organisms, that would still 
be prediction on a relatively mechanical basis. The 
restitution of a newt's hand is a peculiar feat, but it 
responds, I take it, absolutely to very simple con- 
ditions, and the ordinary course of many diseases 
is predictable with certainty. 

But it is not clear whether Laplace's imaginary 
calculator, whatever his primary data, is supposed 
ad hoc to stand to the world of mind as a physicist 
stone-deaf from birth would stand to the theory of 
sound ; or whether in his knowledge of all forces 
and of the respective situations of all beings in the 
world at a single moment there would be included 
the full experience of mind and its actual objects. 
In the former case it is obvious that the significance 
of his results would not be appreciable by himself, 

1 See Leibniz on the movement of a uniform wheel (Latta's 
Leibnis, p. 221). This appears to give what is the essence of 
Professor Ward's criticism of mechanistic science. See Naturalism, 
i. 133, where Ward repeats that argument of the Monadology in 
illustration of which Latta cites the reference to the wheel from 
Epistola ad Des Bosses. 


and their interpretation and valuation would be a 
further and independent operation. But it does not 
follow from this that the two operations together 
could give no results of supreme importance. In 
the latter case, which we may suppose Laplace to 
have contemplated, the calculator is in principle 
assumed to have both types of data in his hands, 
and the substantive question is whether by mere 
calculation he could, in developing the physical 
data, develop with them the psychical data and 
the world of quality, making his knowledge of the 
universe as complete as the knowledge of a piece 
of music would be to one who could both predict 
the vibrations and interpret their musical values. 

Now for our immediate purpose the point is 
this. Whether or no it would be theoretically 
possible for the calculator to determine the physical 
basis of every occurrence beforehand, we are not 
bound to say. But it is certain that, on the ex- 
treme assumption that this is conceivable, he would 
yet be very far from doing the work of the intelli- 
gence in the full sense. 1 In order to pass from 
moral or social experience given by the hypothesis 
in his complete view of the world at the moment to 
the unknown phases of such experience correlative 
to his physical conclusions, he would have to control 
and to manipulate in thought wholly different worlds 
from that of physical nature, worlds aesthetic, moral, 
political the regions of life and mind. In any 
case, give it what assumptions we will, the work of 
calculation can never be typical of the work of 
intelligence in grasping reality. We must choose 
between the types of the deaf physicist, and the 

J Here I am glad to agree with Professor Ward, ib. 44. 


physicist-musician. I n the former case the work is 
not done ; in the latter a vast additional assumption 
is employed to make it conceivable. 

But secondly, it is false in principle to deny that 
calculations of the kind imagined might be able to 
throw light on the operations of mind, whether past, 
present, or future. We must not forget the con- 
tinuity of worlds the building up of the fuller upon 
the shallower individuality. It would not amount 
to nothing if a man could do, say, for the analysis 
of pain and pleasure what the theory of wave 
propagation has done for the analysis of sound. 
To say that the comprehension of feeling, or even 
its experience or actual being, could not or might 
not be affected by a knowledge of its physical con- 
comitants seems rash if not plainly false. Besides, 
the world of things in space comprises the organic 
and human world in simpler ways, which do not 
amount to nothing. It is something to know, if we 
do know, that, as a thing in space, an .organism 
cannot be in two places at once, and can only com- 
municate with other organisms under conditions of 
space and time. In short, it is easy to show that 
the abstractions of the sciences which deal with 
things as in space are not everything ; but it is a 
great mistake to suppose that they are nothing, 
more especially if, in supposing this, one argues at 
the same time that they are all of actual life which 
intelligence can comprehend and predict. 

It is argued as a matter of general principle that 
nature is not self-dependent, that it presupposes 
mind, and that mind cannot be subordinate to or 
definable by that which apart from it is nothing. I 
cannot think this an important consideration, apart 


from a definite exhibition of the mocfyts operandi of 
mind in asserting its superiority. Such an exhibi- 
tion will be attempted at a later stage of this work. 
But prima facie the experiences which we sum up 
as " nature " are none the less what they are because 
we accept them as coming to us through " mind." 
Such a general consideration does not alter their 
content or loosen their connection with the self. 
To say everything* is experienced through mind 
makes no more difference than to say that every- 
thing is the work of God. On the contrary, its 
prima facie result is to bring them into nearer 
intimacy, and to tinge all psychical being with 
something of their character. 1 In short, all that we 
know of the worlds of space and time, and of the 
causally connected appearances which we treat as 
matter, are already universal connections partially 
defining the individual real. The real, so far as they 
define it, may be incomplete and inconsistent, but 
the whole cannot be cut loose from it. The supreme 
individuality, and still more any individuality which 
can be attained in finite experience, is characterised 
by this fact of appearance in " a nature " ; and the 
further features which seem to us more appropriate 
to self-determining mind are also universal connec- 
tions, but within worlds of conduct, which though 
fuller than what science calls nature, both pre- 

1 Note, Tor instance, the growing idea that psychical states may 
be extended. I have strong sympathy with much in Professor 
Alexander's point of view. But it is plain to me that its moral lies 
in the expansion of psychical and logical characteristics to be 
characters of " things," in compensation for cutting down the con- 
tent of "minds." Here I am afraid we should differ. Cf. Professor 
Varisco's account of external things as elements of consciousness, 
only, qua things, not included in the unity of any subject (/ 
Massimi Problemi^ p. 30). 


suppose and rest upon it. There can be no reason, 
prima facie, to deny that what science calls a know- 
ledge of natural law is a partial analysis, and in 
principle might lead to a high degree of prediction, 
of what we call individual activity ; l and it is false 
in principle to deny that what we call in the highest 
sense individual characteristics, are, within the 
world to which they belong, universal laws. What 
possible interest or significance could they possess 
if it were not so if, say, all Cromwell's actions were 
not respectively cases under the same universal 
the same pervading spirit ? 

We should instinctively resent prediction of our 
conduct, it has been well said, based on mere 
scientific calculation from data existing previous to 
our birth. We do not resent prediction based on 
observation and experience of our formed individual 
character. 2 

The reason is, that the former kind of prediction 
seems independent of our individuality, while the 
latter is founded upon it. It is natural to argue, 
in harmony with this instinct, that the former is 
impossible, and the latter is possible. The important 
point, again, is to make a clear distinction between 
calculation and intelligence. Calculation, in the 
main, cannot suggest new ideas ; intelligence has this 

1 There are, of course, all sorts of things which we can predict 
out of mere " natural law " about organic beings on our earth ; and 
though for the most part common form, these things, e.g. the need 
of food, may at any moment leap up into vast moral and historical 

2 Bradley, Eth. Studies, p. 18. Cf. Taylor, Elements, p. 220. 
We dislike not really the foretelling, but the reduction to some- 
thing which leaves out all we are. In a word, prediction does not 
matter if it depends on an understanding of what we are, and not on 
reducing us to what we are not. Cf. " A Study in Bergson," Inter. 
Joum. of Ethics, October 1910. 



creative insight for its fundament^ function. In 
the nature of things, there seems nothing to hinder 
the previous calculation of all physical movements 
and the behaviour of all physical systems such as 
organic bodies. It must be remembered that this 
would involve the construction of the whole environ- 
ment, as it is only in relation to the environment 
that the development of organic bodies can be 
understood. Assuming, purely for the curiosity of 
the speculation, this monstrous possibility, there 
could be no reason why the accumulation of capacity 
for complex automatic responses to stimuli the 
physical correlate of teleological action should 
not be naturally explicable and capable of being 
scientifically predicted. 1 But new ideas, the signifi- 
cance of things, according to our previous distinc- 
tion, would be inaccessible to the calculator as such. 2 
If, however, we were to speak not of pure calcula- 
tion, but of calculation plus intelligence, then no 
limitation seems theoretically tenable. 

It may be said that you could not predict 
individual conduct, because the data of individual 
character could not be complete while any thing 
remained to be predicted. But in principle intelli- 

1 On the correlation of these with psychical process, see Mitchell's 
Structure of the Mind. 

2 If the calculator (speaking always from the point of view of 
theoretical curiosity) could predict the words the mere sounds 
that would be used, but not the ideas, or the movements which make 
history and not the motives, is this a reductio adabsurdum ? It may 
seem so, but really there is not much in it. The ideas, of course, 
would come with the cerebral activities which produce the sounds, 
but the calculator, officially so to speak, would have no cognisance 
of them, just as the electrician who instals or even who operates a 
duplex system has no official knowledge of the significance of the 
messages to be sent, or that are being sent. A battle or a parlia- 
mentary debate would be to the calculator like an earthquake or a 
thunderstorm ; or like a treatise to the compositor. Why not ? 


gence is one ; and new ideas and motives, which 
could be generated out of new fact, are not inaccess- 
ible to forethought in presence of a forecast of the 
facts. The real answer then would be that, on the 
extreme speculative hypothesis proposed, calculation 
plus intelligence might in principle predict the whole 
of individual character and conduct ; but this would 
only be possible if and because the intelligence in 
question was able to pre-construct the ideas and 
habits of the future individual. It cannot be said 
that we know of no facts at all analogous to this 
possibility. Intelligence being essentially one, this 
would be, and is, no detriment to the later indi- 
vidual. It would be as when an earlier thinker 
or statesman has anticipated the ideas or furnished 
a solution of the practical problems which are pre- 
sented independently to a later one. 1 The latter's 
individuality, practical and intellectual, is thus in 
its main lines covered by that of the former; but 
it is no detriment to his freedom or to his separate 
actuality. It is merely that finite mind, repeating 
itself because of its imperfection, has to all appear- 
ance needlessly doubled a part. The thing is only 
too common ; it occurs, e.g. in the case of every 
scientist or philosopher whose work wholly fails 
to transcend at any point that of his predecessors. 
No doubt this only applies in practice to the main 
outline of a man's thought and work, and not, as a 
rule, to the details of his history; though it is 
common, of course, for others to know that two 
people are in love before they know it themselves. 
But there it is an actual and common and an all- 
important fact ; and we produce it only as an 

1 See " A Study in Bergson," he. tit. 


analogy for a very remote speculation. As a fact, 
however, it is too little noticed, arid it has a real 
bearing on our main issue. In all essentials, the 
lines of individuals' life-work can be and constantly 
are either unconsciously anticipated or consciously 
laid down and predicted by others who come before 
them, or are close upon them in similar enterprises. 1 
Or, reversing the point of view, surely we may say 
that to all appearance there are many individuals 
who in many ways fall within others, and so are 
surplusage, and " never would be missed/' though 
we must suppose that the apparent repetition has 
a value which we do not see. Not that to carry 
out what another mind has predicted is necessarily 
a defect. 

In the above argument, the interest of the 
question has carried us farther than we were bound 
to go. Our problem was the relation of Indi- 
viduality to universal law. And all we were bound 
to show was the possibility of analysis or explana- 
tion, and not the possibility of calculation or pre- 
diction. It is enough to insist 'that an individual 
system, being a nature or spirit which is universal 
throughout its differences, necessarily determines 
between those differences a nexus, which itself is, 
as embodying a side of the system, universal and 
necessary. And that it is not repeated in a number 
of resembling instances is, as we saw, a feature 
belonging to its universality. Repetition suggests 

1 The history of inventions affords many cases. The reinvention 
of the lever and the screw is a striking instance. The reinvention 
had been " covered " by the unknown earlier mind. You can predict 
in short, in as far as you are the same with the individual predicted, 
and this is not a prohibitive condition, because there can be real 
identity between different individuals. All mutual intelligence depends 
upon the fact that individuals cover each other in some degree. 


groundlessness or failure. What truly fills its place 
as a successful Expression of the whole at that place, 
can fill no other. But its nexus within the whole 
is intelligible to the mind thinking in terms of the 
whole, and this is the very type of a necessary law. 

And in all the repetitions which every day gener- 
alities express, the true type of the universal, how- 
ever abraded by careless handling, is ultimately to 
be found. We may fail to observe the differences 
in or in spite of which a repetition takes place. 
But it is certain that if they were not there, there 
could be no repetition ; that the two cases or 
examples, having nothing to hold them apart, could 
not be two but one. The nature of the universal 
is traceable even within the bare numerical series, 
and a fortiori in every constituent of an organic 

Every nexus, so far as a universal law, is a 
necessary determination within and hypothetical 
upon an Individual whole whether a world- whole 
or a member of it, a macrocosm or a microcosm, 
makes no difference of principle. This is as true 
of the Law of Contradiction as of the rhythm of 
the first line of " Lycidas," l and vice versa. 

7. I cannot but hold it to be a confusion if sub- TO change 
jective teleology is held to be incompatible with 
the views which have just been advanced. You U 
cannot have individuality or spontaneity along with chan s ed - 
universal law, so the allegation runs, because uni- 
versal law would require the individual world to 
repeat its behaviour if the same situation is repeated ; 
and this, if its end or purpose in the two cases is 

1 I am assuming that the nexus of this rhythm approves itself to 
expert thought as necessary in its place, 


different, it will not do, but will respond differently, 1 
The question of teleology will be entered upon more 
fully in the next lecture, but this much seems clear 
at once. The end or purpose can be nothing but 
the nature of the whole, 2 which is the spirit of the 
individual world, in as far as its accomplishment 
is deferred in time, and therefore arouses a sense 
of want and contradiction because the individual 
system is sensitive to the delay. It follows that 
if the purpose is different in two apparently identical 
cases, the identity is an illusion due to superficial 
inspection. Within the world which constitutes the 
individual's being, the contradiction has in some 
way shifted its place, and this fact cannot possibly 
mean a new suggestion, an additional idea, tacked 
on, so to speak, without affecting the organised 
system, concerning only the future and not the present 
or the past. 3 There must have been, in principle, 
a dislocation of the whole system, a rearrangement 
of " views/ 1 acquiescences, attitudes, and percep- 
tions. The " circumstances " the elements of the 
situation which " stand round 11 'the centre of the 
individual world and take their colour and reciprocal 
bearing from the adjustment of its content them- 
selves, as a whole, are liable to have undergone in 
such a case any degree of transformation, however 
much their external or fragmentary aspect may 
remain unchanged. But all this is no contingent 

1 Taylor, Elements of Metaphysics^ p. 224. 

2 Does this way of stating it suppose every purpose to be right ? 
Only in as far as the Individuality is right, free from defect and 
deformity. Ultimately, it might be said that to have a purpose is 
a proof of being somehow wrong. But the wrong may or may not 
be rightly conceived by the individual. 

3 See below on the continuity of purposive adjustment with 
habitual system. 


or arbitrary new determination; it is the reorgan- 
isation of a m'crocosm a change of apperception. 
The truth may well be illustrated by Leibniz's 
conception of self-developing monads, even though 
we accept the accession of suggestions from without. 
For the suggestion from without can only operate 
by modifying the distribution and connection of the 
whole ; so that ultimately we have, as Leibniz said, 
a progression of thought and appetition dependent 
at every stage on the previous phase of thought 
and appetition. A man who has yielded to temp- 
tation once, and who resists the same temptation 
successfully when it recurs, has not merely ex- 
changed volition A for volition B, as one might 
pick up this pebble instead of that ; he has modified 
his view and sentiment of past, present, and future. 
His world has dislocated and reshaped itself, so 
that its main contradiction would now be found in 
doing what before it was an intolerable contradiction 
not to do. Purpose, in a word, is secondary ; what 
is primary is the nature of our microcosm ; and, of 
this, purpose is an unfulfilled corollary. 

Therefore subjective teleology brings with it 
nothing to invalidate our conclusion, which is as 
follows : 

Individuality and Spontaneity are not antagonistic 
to Uniformity of Nature and General Law, if these 
are rightly understood, but include and necessitate 

The Uniformity of Nature or principle of 
Relevancy means that every variation is a member 
in an intelligible system. It excludes spontaneity 
only in the sense of behaviour responsive to nothing. 
Variation is a means of adjustment or response, 


and to establish its existence in a high degree is not 
inconsistent with, but evidence of, (the uniformity 
of nature in the true sense. The ppof of genuine 
spontaneity is not mere variation, but progressive 
and adapted variation. Individuality, therefore, 
meaning not empty eccentricity, but the character 
of a system as self-contained and coherent, is fully 
in harmony with the Uniformity of Nature. 

Universality lies in the expression of the nature 
of a system by each and all of its parts suitably 
to the place or function of each. A system so 
expressed or organised is a universal, and the nexus 
between its parts, though none is primarily similar 
to or a repetition of any other, is a universal nexus 
or law. It is true that in finite experience, the 
uniqueness of parts within individuality, or of indi- 
viduals as parts of the universe, is never perfect. 
Thus they not only are universals in the true sense, 
and are built up of universal nexuses, but, in finite 
experience, necessarily occasion the approximate 
repetitions an imperfection which are expressed 
in ordinary " general law." Evtry nexus in finite 
experience has a potential class or plurality corre- 
sponding to it. Individuals are therefore doubly 
accessible to the intelligence, and, indeed, in many 
typical instances are its work, though not necessarily 
the work of cognition nor of discursive thought. 
Hence there is no occasion to deny that intelligence 
is in principle capable of anticipating the nature of 
individuals, their action and cognition; but this is 
not to say that every form of intelligence, such 
as calculation per se, is adequate to every type of 
individual world. The best way to think of the 
finite individual is to bear in mind the nature of 


a work of art, or of the moral temper as analysed 
by Aristotle, 1 jor of an organic being as the con- 
tinual source of adaptation by fine adjustments of 
extreme determinateness and precision. And sub- 
jective teleology, understood as it should be of the 
shaping and reshaping of a world in the endeavour 
to find itself and its whole, has nothing to urge 
against our views. We will speak of it more fully 
in another lecture. 

1 Sec Appendix II. 



i. WE have so far in the main been endeavouring 

ality is the i . * . i i 

universal to remove the misapprehension which sees an 
a^woridof antagonism between Individuality and the universal. 
which one \y e h ave attempted to show that it arises from the 

aspect is L 

Teleology, imperfect penetration of thought, when it accepts 
the particular in lieu of the individual, and reduces 
the universal to the general. For us the type at 
once of the individual and the universal has been 
the life or spirit of a world, which realises itself in 
form and determinateness, that is, in fine and ade- 
quate adjustment of element to element. For every- 
where it is creative Logic, the nature of the whole 
working in the detail, which constitutes experience 
and is appreciable in so far as experience has value ; l 
and the more fully we enter into reality the more 
do we realise the universal nature, the interdepend- 
ent nexus in which the whole finds expression. 
All the faults of philosophy, it might be said, lie in 
failing to apprehend this nature of the individual, 
and in therefore arbitrarily preferring some one 
element of experience to the whole. For the whole, 
of course, cannot be experienced as a whole by us, 

1 See Lecture VIII. below. 



and to grasp its constituents and divine its nature 
is an arduous task ; while it is comparatively easy 
to set the apparent data, uncriticised and unadjusted, 
over against one another in opposition. 

We have now to define our position with refer- 
ence to one of these sets of data, which is often 
placed in antagonism to the rest. I speak of that 
popular principle of ethical or theistic Idealism 
known in general as Teleology. We have further 
to consider the claims and functions assigned by it 
to finite consciousness, seeing that they furnish the 
type on which ethical and theistic philosophy is apt 
to model its conception of the supreme mind in 
relation to the universe. 

The object of the present lecture, then, is to 
examine and estimate the idea of teleology. We 
have to develop the point that teleology is a con- 
ception which loses its distinctive meaning as we 
deepen its philosophical interpretation ; l and that, 
part passu, the simplest surface features of finite 
consciousness, from which its conception is drawn, 
reveal themselves as an inadequate basis for a theory 
of reality, perfection, or value. 

2. We are familiar in every-day life with the dis- End and 

r , t i i ii T 11- 1 nleans run 

Unction of " end and means. It embodies a rough into one 
discrimination of values, relative to current practice. 
We care for some things for their own sake, for 
others because they help us to the former. The 
former, then, serve to explain the valuation or the 
acquisition of the latter, and themselves need no 
defence nor explanation. Prima facie, the former 
come last in time, and the latter, the "means," 

1 Cf. Hegel's view of Teleology, McTaggart's Commentary on 
Hegel's Logic, sect. 255. 


come before them as conditions precedent of their 
being attained. " Means " presuppose a degree of 
impotence. They are ex hypothesi not what we 
want. We take them because, with the resources 
open to us, we can get what we want, the " end," 
in no other way. Thus it is the very essence of an 
" end " to be partial within a whole, though it may 
be the completion of a part, and to be selected in 
contrast to something else, and, prima facie, to 
events preceding it in time. Aristotle, 1 indeed, 
whom in this our argument follows, understands by 
" end " at once the completion of a positive whole 
which is developing through a process, and the 
cessation of the process itself. In modern theory 
the positive whole tends to drop out. The prima 
facie meaning, based on the current modern usage 
of " end," has gained the day. 

There are indeed facts, in general conformity 
with Aristotle's view, which might make us pause 
before treating this temporal and selective character 
this essential contrast with a past process and 
with means as typical and unJVersal. In many 
cases of choice it is obvious that consequences have 
to be discounted on the same footing as means. 
Our " end/' in the sense of that which we aim at, 
may come first, or in the middle ; and the price to 
be paid for it, the cost of the means, may extend 
before and after and all round it. We can seldom, 
in common life, discharge the whole cost before 
delivery. Thus, at least the temporal distinction 
between end and means loses its sharpness. Our 

1 Cf. Burnet, Aristotle's Ethics, xlvi., with Stout's Groundwork 
of Psychology ', p. 21. The modern view makes more of the cessa- 
tion than of the positive completion. I am referring more especially 
to the doctrine of vital series. 


view of the end is always qualified by the means, 
and the meansf- for computation, include the con- 
sequences, or, inore largely, the price to be paid. 
Attainment aira conclusion cease to be the same 
idea ; and we become aware that in the whole train 
of occurrences there is nothing which may not par- 
take of the character of an end 1 or desirable object. 
In ordinary life, we continually experience this 
blending of end and means the desired object and 
its price and when we approach philosophical re- 
flection it is a fact that starts up into importance. 
We soon come to recognise that what we have 
called an end, as if it were a goal and a stopping- 
place, is in reality " not a point, but a line/ 1 or even 
a solid ; that it tends to expand itself, irregularly, 
over the whole process of our activity. When, for 
example, we are dealing with a total system, whether 
of life or of nature, how are we to discriminate 
between end and means? We begin with two 
natural prejudices, the anthropocentric and the 
temporal, borrowed from our every-day selective 
practice, and from our primary association of accom- 
plishment and cessation. But neither will stand a 
moment's reflection. Why should man be the end ? 
And indeed, is there anything to suggest that he is 
so ? Why again assign pre-eminent value to a 

far off divine event 

To which the whole creation moves ? 

1 So in the modern conation theory, the pleasure and the end 
are found to fall apart (Stout, Analytic Psychology, ii. 273), and the 
value comes rather to be in the pleasure than in the end = terminus 
ad quent ; i.e. the two characters of value and terminus are dissoci- 
ated the one is a concomitant of the whole process, the other is 
only its close. The same is true of the account of the higher desires 
which Plato employs ; the pleasure is not merely in the satiety of the 
terminus ; it is a character of the whole activity. 


It is obvious that no such ascription of ultimate 
value to a particular class of creatures nor to a 
particular moment in time can her justified as an 
ultimate conception. It rests on the analogy of the 
choice of a finite being, compelled, because finite, 
to exercise selection within the universe. It is an 
attempt to apply the principle of subordination of 
means to ends to a system within which we can 
recognise no necessity, and can conceive no clue, 
for the distinct being of ends or of means. A finite 
being selects a possible value, and out of the re- 
sources which he can find in his world further selects 
the instruments by help of which he proposes to 
make it actual. But we cannot conceive that a 
perfect reality is divided into ends which have 
value, and means which a limitation of resources 
compels to be employed to realise them. Such 
a conception is drawn from the analogy of a 
finite contriver. 

Thus the principle of Teleology when applied to 
cosmic theory, 1 loses at once and completely all 
assistance from the ordinary distinctions of means 
and ends, and from the presumption of a coincidence 
between termination and attainment. If it is to 
retain a meaning, it must abandon the whole analogy 
of finite contrivance and selection, and must fall 
back on the characteristics of value which, apart from 
sequence in time and from selected purposes, attach 
to the nature of a totality which is perfection. In 
this transition, the principle of purposiveness, of a 
nature imperative on every element of a whole, 

1 " Parlar di fine, a proposito dell' universe, adoperar la parola 
fine in un significato che non e piu quello che le conosciamo." 
Varisco, / Massimi Problemi^ p. 218. 


expands into the principle of Individuality, or posi- 
tive non-contradiction. In working with it, we 
substitute the idea of perfection or the whole a 
logical or metaphysical, non-temporal, and religious 
idea for that of de facto purpose a psychological, 
temporal, and ethical idea. We deal with a sub- 
stantive criterion of value applicable to every detail 
of a totality, and equally valid if Time is treated as 
an appearance. The criterion can deal with pur- 
poses, but mere de facto purposiveness can neither 
impeach nor support the criterion. In short, a 
purpose as such a de facto want or desire only 
contributes to intelligibility by serving as a reason 
for its means. For itself, as a mere purpose, it can 
never exhibit a justification. Every purpose, no 
doubt, implies a subjective value, but there is no 
reason why every true value should be a purpose. 
In extending the idea of teleology to the universe 
as a whole we are turning from the question whether 
this fact or that has the appearance of being con- 
trived for a purpose, to the question whether the 
totality contrivance or no contrivance, and without 
any suggestion of dividing it into part which is 
means and part which is the end can be appre- 
hended or conceived as satisfactory, i.e. as a supreme 

The theoretical importance of the transition is 
this, that the selective conations of finite minds can- 
not, in face of such a principle, claim a fundamental 
position as the source of order and value. And 
this applies to the mind of a finite god, if such a 
being is to be treated as conceivable. The finite 
consciousness is to be considered as creative and 
as possessing initiative in a sense which we shall 


attempt to explain ; but the principles of the uni- 
verse are thought of as deeper laid than in the 
choices of finite mind. Minds, as we are aware of 
them, fall into place rather as an imperfect medium 
and manifestation of the reality than as an ultimate 
and sovereign source of it. 

The End 3. Along with the idea that the true sense of 
?s S if a t t!ety value in the universe is of a teleological type, we 
satisfac- n( j t ^ e jj ea t j lat j-j^ true na |; Ure of mental process 

is conative. 1 And in a certain restricted sense both 
one and the other doctrine may be sustained, but in 
the latter case as in the former it is important to 
note the precise implication. 

In the typical conation the important points are 
the beginning and the close. The beginning is a 
disturbance, and the close or end is a recovery 
of equilibrium. As we saw above, in elementary 
notions of teleology which are drawn in fact from 
the simplest conative experience, the purpose and 
the close are one, and the end coincides with both. 2 
The recovery of equilibrium means satiety, and this 
is one with the cessation of the conative process. 
This is the account of ordinary desire and its satis- 
faction which Plato on the whole accepted, and it is 
retained in outline by the modern theory of conation 
as a " vital series/ 1 

But the latent opposition between the two con- 
ceptions of the end reveals itself within the pleasure- 
theory which is continuous from Plato to Aristotle. 
The " end " for Aristotle's theory was not merely 
satiety but satisfaction ; and satisfactoriness, the 

1 Cf. McTaggart on the full meaning of " Cognition " and 
" Volition," op. tit. sect. 284. 

2 Stout, Analytic Psychology^ ii. 270; Groundwork of Psychology, 
pp. 21, 25. 


power of giving satisfaction, was a positive char- 
acteristic, the completeness of a form, and not simply 
the cessation of a disturbance. It is a twice-told 
tale how this idea was worked out in the theory of 
Plato and Aristotle. For our purpose it is enough 
to repeat that in Aristotle's usage the term "end" 
is applied to positive maturity as more than the 
mere cessation of growth which it involves, and to 
the continuous or perhaps timeless character of the 
fullest life and fruition, rather than to the completion 
of any serial process. 

Now at bottom fruition is distinct from conation 
as above described, as Aristotle is at pains to point 
out in his criticism of anti-Hedonist arguments 1 ; 
and a satisfaction that can be attained and possessed 
is something other than satiety. Thus the "end" 
no longer appears as a terminus ad quern. It has 
expanded into something which is either a type of 
activity independent of and other than conation, 
or, if it is to be identified with conation, throws a 
wholly different light, from that by which we de- 
scribed it above, upon its nature and the conditions 
of its value. 2 And so we see in recent pleasure- 
theory, in spite of the primary doctrine that end 
and cessation coincide, that the desirable element of 
a conation, its end in the ethical sense, is taken to 
lie in its character extending over its process and 
not in its close or termination. 8 The " End/' in the 
sense of attainment or achievement, expands itself 

1 Eth. Ntc. x, iv. i. 

2 It is clear that for Aristotle 7iy>ais in the full sense and at the 
highest value the quintessence of 7r/>ais is one with the perfect 
eve/oyeia, But this does not mean that the full conception of kvip 
can be reduced to that of every-day 7r/>ais. 

8 See reference, p. 125 above. 



from the idea of a terminus into that of a satisfactory 
experience which may be taken as including a cona- 
tive process of a certain type, or as a new inde- 
pendent and perfected self-affirmation following 
upon the completion of the changes which form the 
conation. The distinction made familiar by Kant 
between sensuous desire and aesthetic interest is 
typical for this difference, which lies at the root of 
the expansion above referred to as recognised and 
emphasised by Aristotle in dealing with Plato's 
theory of pleasure. In sensuous desire and its 
satisfaction you have a transition followed by satiety ; 
and that is the typical conation with its " end/ 1 In 
aesthetic enjoyment or any other true fruition, you 
have a response from an object in which the self is 
at home, and you have not, in principle and in the 
main, any transition nor any satiety. 1 It may be 
argued that in the higher fruition as in common 
desire you have really a conative transition, and 
that the inexhaustible possibilities of the object are 
in fact what produce the appearance of an achieved 
and persistent satisfaction. We may agree that 
this is an element in the case ; but still there seems 
an unmistakable difference of principle. In the 
process of a finite mind, no doubt, there will always 
be succession and transition, but in aesthetic enjoy- 
ment, for example, it is not the transition towards 
an unattained terminus that makes the essence of 

1 No doubt, as Aristotle points out, in the fullest fruition a man 
is liable to fatigue. But this seems to be in principle an incident of 
our limited strength, and not a sign of true satiety with reference to 
the object of interest. It should be explained that the aesthetic 
interest or desire which makes us, e.g. go to look at a picture or wish 
to buy it, does not undo the peculiarity of aesthetic enjoyment in 
being directed to the pictured semblance of an object, and not to its 
actual use or possession, 


the activity. 1 The mind's direction in it is outward, 
not onward ; and one moment of it, as Aristotle 
urges, is self-complete and as good as the next. It 
borrows nothing from an approach to a future com- 
pleteness. Such a fruition may be understood, as 
is perhaps the natural way of understanding it, to 
be as it were the protracted terminus of a conation, 
like eternity coming after time ; or may be treated 
as throwing a light on the true nature and value of 
conation itself. 2 In either case, it is something 
different in principle from the conation whose begin- 
ning is disturbance and whose end is satiety. 

And the importance of this is that the nature of 
conation itself has led us back to our old conclusion ; 
and we see again that the true " end" or value does 
not lie in this special relation to a terminus or finite 
purpose, but in a character of perfection, which may 
in finite experience be relatively present throughout 
a process, or as a persistent result of it, or at the 
beginning of it, or in the middle. I repeat, in the 
simplest case of conation satiety and satisfaction 
coincide. But if end is to mean a value, satisfaction 
must be more than satiety. And the idea of cona- 
tion must be remodelled to meet this necessity, as 
the modern pleasure-theory, when it lays stress on 
positive interest within the conation in contrast to 
mere escape from tension or disturbance, in some 
degree recognises. 8 

1 Aristotle's counter-attack, alleging that self-complete activity or 
fruition is really the enjoyable part in ail conation whatever, even in 
the painful pleasures, so that conation would not be in any degree 
the condition of value or pleasure, may be thought to prove too 
much, and to correct one mistake by another. The view taken in 
the text avoids this danger (see Ethics, vii. 12. 2 and 14. 7). 

2 See above, p. 129 and following note. 

3 Stout, Analytic Psychology \ ii. 280: "The analogy of a bent 


It seems to be the case that in finite life conation 
and fruition coincide in different degrees, from a 
conation which is principally valued as a release 
from pain to one which is practically indistinguish- 
able from pure positive enjoyment of self-affirmation, 
in which if there is essentially conation at all, it is 
wholly latent. 1 Between these two extremes there 
are all sorts of intermediate cases. But the point 
for us at present is simply the expansion of the idea 
of end into a connection with fruition and value, 
and into throwing off all special connection with the 
ideas of termination as against a process, and super- 
ordination as against means. 

Teleology 4 Thus, the point of principle to which I desire 
by^r^de to ca ^ attention may be stated by contrast with the 
on Monad- p OS jtion adopted by more than one distinguished 
critic of Naturalism, in maintaining the claims of 
Teleology against Mechanism and Epiphenome- 
nalism. As I understand the matter, they rightly 
contend that the universe, with all its variety and 
adaptation, cannot really be understood out of 
quantitative relations between homogeneous units, 
whether or no such an ideal construction is useful 
for scientific purposes. It is enough for us to say 
that, in the first place, the units along with their 
relations have not the character of self -complete 
existences do not fulfil the conditions of self-sub- 
sistent being or self-maintenance ; and that, in the 

spring is not in point." Groundwork of Psychology^ p. 24. The 
effect is that pleasures and pains depend on characters of the pro- 
gress of a conation, not on its completion. 

1 The question is akin to the problem whether feeling involves 
conation. See Stout, Groundwork^ pp. 24, 25, and Bradley, Mind, 
n.s. xl. p. 449. There is, of course, a wide gap between the simplest 
effortless enjoyments and the highest persistent satisfaction (say, 
aesthetic). But the relation of the two to conation seems analogous. 


second place, they obviously wear the features of 
hypostasised abstractions, which may be of service 
in describing the world, but cannot conceivably 
suffice as a theoretical reconstruction of its qualitative 
and conscious aspects. 1 

But if I correctly follow the critics beyond this 
point, in proceeding to enforce the claims of teleology 
within the universe they rest its case exclusively 
on the capacity of finite consciousness, as such 
(e.g. apart from its unconscious, or supra-conscious 
solidarity), for a guidance and selection which con- 
stitutes the world as we know it. They deny, as I 
gather, in principle, that the supreme individuality, 
whose reality they are concerned to maintain, can 
manifest itself through a nature which is the comple- 
ment of mind, and through a social and historical 
evolution which is more than the work of finite minds. 
They would not admit that processes, which must 
appear to the finite consciousness as necessity below 
it, and as evolution or providence above it, are 
what equip it with its content, and bestow on it its 
significance in the world-order. 

If I read the tendency aright, the reaction against 
mechanism bids fair to end in the antithesis of an 
empty directive unit with a directionless mass of 
externality, and to enthrone the finite subject, or, 
worst still, a theistic Demiurge, in his blankness 
and isolation, as guides and masters of nature and of 
history. If this is rightly read, I believe that we shall 
have to recall the votary of mechanism, along with 
Spinoza, in the interests of the philosophy of history, 
and the theory of religion. It is intolerable that 
Nature, through which alone spirit attains incarna- 
1 See Lecture III. 


tion, should be treated as a directionless material ; 
or that art, thought, society, history, in which mind 
begins to transcend its finiteness, should be ascribed 
to the directive abilities of units* <in a plurality, 
precisely apart from the world - content and the 
underlying solidarity of spirits, the medium in which 
all great things are done. 

The view in which I find a difficulty seems to be 
present in two degrees. Either the realm of finite con- 
sciousness is taken to be co-extensive with the organic 
kingdom, that is, with life, and to be responsible 
for the introduction along with life, of a principle of 
guidance and construction unknown to inorganic 
matter, and accounting wholly and essentially for the 
teleological element in evolution and in history ; l or 
again, the realm of finite consciousness is extended 
throughout the inorganic world itself, not merely as 
a possibility of fact, but as a means of accounting 
for the manifestation of design or harmony in actual 
nature through reactions which are by others falsely 
taken to be mechanical. 2 The distribution of 
mentality through the inorganic and organic worlds 
is a mere question of fact ; but I am certain that no 
appeal to it can release us from the necessity of 

1 In the sharp opposition between the organic world as on the 
up grade, and the inorganic as on the down grade, Dr. Ward is very 
much at one with M. Bergson. On the other hand, as to the nature 
of the mainspring in the organic world, whether a life-impulse or a 
teleological consciousness, they seem profoundly at variance. See, 
however, below on Ward's meaning when he speaks of working the 
organic machine. 

2 For Ward, this view is simply, as I understand, an extension 
of his individualism. But in asserting the claims of finite mind as 
known in the organic world he has made its opposition to inorganic 
nature so pronounced, that I do not see how he can treat the guidance 
ascribed to finite mind as immanent in the members of the world as 
a whole. 


assuming a determinate outward side, which gives 
content to the mind or will of separate beings ; nor 
can account for definite characteristics of the world 
from a multiplication of subjective centres alone. 

In both cases it appears to me that an error of 
fundamental principle has been committed. I do 
not doubt that anything which can ultimately be, 
must be of the nature of mind or experience, 
and, therefore, that reality must ultimately be con- 
ceived after this manner. But to pass from this 
ultimate conviction to the idea that finite minds are 
the sole vehicles and determinants of teleology 
apart from "a nature/' a relatively external and 
mechanical system, by which their content is defined 
and their individuality manifested, and also apart 
from a deeper unity through which they co-operate 
to a harmony transcending their finite purposes this 
seems to me as serious an error as that of the 
mechanistic view itself. And I have attempted to 
point out that the misconception is deep-rooted in 
the double meaning of the term teleology. 

5. I will insist oh this point again. We have seen, Teleology 
I think, that Teleology is an unlucky term. 1 In the 
sense of aiming at the unfulfilled it gives an unreal tlon * 
importance to time, and to the part of any whole 
it may be a relatively trivial part which happens 
to come last in succession. Of the two implications 
of the term "end" completeness and conclusion 
the latter, which is an accessory, usurps precedence 
over the former which is fundamental. But in truth 
its significance does not depend on what comes first 
or last, but what there is in the individual real when 
it is apprehended in its completeness. Action is 
1 Cf. McTaggart, I.e. 


not truly ideological 1 because in the time-process 
some deferred element of some subordinate quasi- 
totality is in it being carried out by means of a 
finite desire. The "end/* in this sense, would not 
necessarily have teleological 2 value, and if it had 
it in some degree, would not necessarily be a 
leading constituent of it. The true question of 
value would be independent of temporal relations, 
and would depend on the structure and significance 
of the whole in course of completion ; that is, on its 
character of individuality, or nearness to the ulti- 
mate whole. The great enemy of all sane idealism 
is the notion that the ideal belongs to the future. 
The ideal is what we can see in the light of the 
whole, and the way in which it shapes the future 
for us is only an incident and never the most 
important incident of our reading of past, present, 
and future in their unity. Thus when "end" or 
" purposiveness " or " teleology " merely indicates 
the fact that some finite consciousness is urged by 
some pleasurable impulse or by some unfulfilled 
idea, there is in this, apart from the content of the 
idea, nothing specially sacred or significant. 8 It is 
vain to look to the bare fact of conscious purpose or 
impulse for the essence or significance of teleology. 
Purpose only means, prima facie, that, using 

1 Assuming " teleological " to imply something valuable and desir- 
able, in harmony with the universe as most perfectly experienced. 

2 Refer to previous footnote. 

3 It is all very well to speak, e.g. of pleasure as a guide to fulness 
of life; but facts of natural selection and of anti-Hedonism (I do 
not mean in philosophical theory but in the temper and deliberate 
conduct of mankind) show plainly that the prima facie case is as 
strong against its guidance as for it. " If your pleasures are right, you 
survive " is only the correlative of " If they are wrong you 


consciousness in the very widest sense, some creature 
consciously wants something. But, omitting all the 
very serious difficulties connected with criticism of 
the value of -the purpose, does the something lose 
its value when it is attained ? Does everything, 
then, not merely exhibit its value, real or fancied, 
in being wanted, but derive its value from being 
wanted ? Are fruition or perfection really the death 
of value ? 

Are the ideas of positive fulfilment and satisfac- 
tion, of a being which is good in itself, and above 
the alternations of want and satiety, mere chimeras? 
If this is so, then there is no Absolute, or, if we 
appeal to finite experience alone, the character of 
the Absolute wholly fails to suggest itself in or 
through the experiences of our lives. But, as I have 
attempted to show, such a conclusion would be flatly 
in the face both of fact and of theory. No doubt 
our wants play a part in the ultimate whole, but it 
is plain that as given they cannot conceivably be a 
measure of value. We cannot think of an intuitive 
intelligence itself as creating values out of all 
relation to a whole with determinate content It, 
the supreme experience, whatever name we may 
give it, must be one with its world and not a creator 
out of nothing. 1 

Things are not ideological because they are 
purposed, but are purposed because they are 
teleological. 2 Thus, when we speak of the ultimate 
real as an individual or as teleological it is hazardous 
to say that purpose, in the sense of a craving un- 

1 See Bergson on the "n<*ant" as the chimera of a possible 
alternative to all positive worlds (Evolution crtatrice^ iv.). 

2 In the sense explained in footnote on previous page. 


fulfilled in time, can play any part in our conception. 
Teleology which depends on a feature of the time- 
process is not a teleology which any one but a 
pragmatist can affirm of ultimate reality ; and the 
lesson thus suggested is only enforced when we 
come to ask ourselves what is the true test, even 
for organic evolution, for social progress, or for 
morals, of the purposiveness of a purpose. Sub- 
jective selection is very poor work, except in as far 
as it becomes more than subjective. Objectiveness 
of selection, the selection of values which will stand 
criticism, is the test of true " teleology " or pur- 
converg- 6. The problem may be developed by consider- 

ence of .... r . . . 

spiritual mg the relation of two positions respecting the 
mechanical nature of mechanism whose compatibility has been 
denied. It has been argued that the position a, 
that nature is instrumental to the development of 
spiritual values, is incompatible with the position /3, 
that the spiritual view is that which regards ex- 
perience as a mechanically intelligible whole. 1 

In considering this question, tfie first thing is to 
make our attitude clear, whether right or wrong. 
For this purpose three points must be explained. 

In the first place, according to the ideas developed 
in the previous chapter, the Uniformity of Nature 
is here taken as a logical postulate, equivalent to the 
Law of Identity as interpreted into the Law of 
Sufficient Reason; 2 and all attempts to impeach 

1 Cf. the author's Psychology of the Moral Self, pp. 117, 126, 
and Professor Taylor, Mind, lii. 488. 

2 Author's Logic, ii. 210-2. If we take the Law of Sufficient 
Reason as especially implying Teleology, which I understand to have 
been Leibniz's view, and which is closely analogous to the conception 
of Taylor's Metaphysics, it really makes no difference of principle. 


it on the score of de facto irregularity in natural 
phenomena are held irrelevant. To suppose that 
the Uniformity of Nature is a principle of repetition 
of similars, and means that the future will resemble 
the past, and can be impeached by any irregularity 
which is not taken as miraculous, we considered to 
be an elementary logical blunder. 1 While to suppose 
that such an impeachment is a guarantee of 
spirituality in the universe is a recurrence to the 
position of the upholders of miracles in the same 
imagined interest. 

In the second place, we treat it as a parallel 
error to contrast individuality with law, and to 
suppose that universal connections are hostile to the 
former, and only exist in the form of generalities 
applying to collections of instances related in the 
way of resemblance. The case of what we vulgarly 
call an individual, a person designated by a proper 
name, is a sufficient instance to the contrary. 2 In 
the notion that such an individual is not a universal 

and framed of universals. and that to have a 


universal you must have a number of resembling 
points, we have the old fallacy of the substitution of 
similarity for identity, with the consequent mis- 
apprehension of the nature of a universal and as a 

Teleology, as we have seen in the previous paragraphs, is simply a 
temporal sub-form of harmony, just as Sufficient Reason is a sub- 
form of Identity in concrete application. 

1 The familiar suggestion that granting logical uniformity it is 
still conceivable that the apparent or de facto inconstancy of nature 
might be such as to disconcert our theory and practice does not seem 
relevant here. If realised, it would only mean that different sense- 
perceptions from ours, and perhaps greater intellectual gifts, would 
be needed to penetrate such a nature, and we should be like 
savages in regard to it, which is no doubt in some degree the 

2 Bradley, Principles of Logic, p. 60. 


corollary, the failure to apply a genuine conception 
of the spiritual. 

And in the third place, the idea of mechanism 
here accepted is one which neither 'reduces the 
universe to modifications of homogeneous quantity, 1 
nor yet impeaches the " uniformity of nature," and 
the general quantitative relations underlying natural 
phenomena. It accepts as the apparent custom of 
the universe and as a corollary of the interde- 
pendence of content and system, that qualities have 
quantitative connections, and that a high degree of 
spiritual or emotional expressiveness accompanies 
a high degree of complexity and intelligible deter- 
minateness. 2 It is one thing to reject a purely 
abstract calculation as the exclusive scheme of 
reality ; it is another thing to be driven, by a sense 
of the faulty philosophy of popular science, into the 
extremes of depreciating the spiritual value of 
intelligence, and assigning to the bare facts of finite 
conation an unreal independence in the universe. 

In presence of these three explanations the truth 
and compatibility of the above cited assertions will 
seem perhaps to be even too obvious. The disputed 
position was that it is the true spiritual view which 
regards Nature as mechanically intelligible. The 
position that Nature is organic to spiritual ends was 
accepted and need not be defended. It was the 
consistency of the former with the latter that was in 
question. What the author desired and still desires 
to maintain is that either position is inconceivable 
apart from the other. Individuality, the union of 

1 See M. Bergson's criticism of the vortex theory, Les Donn&s, 
p. 157; and p. 109 above. 

2 See Lecture VIII. on the logical basis of the estimate of value. 


comprehensiveness and coherence, the incarnation 
of non-contradiction, could not be realised in any 
system which is not transparent according to the 
Law of Causation or Sufficient Reason. 1 Where 
there is (or appears to be) discontinuity, as tested 
by these characteristics of an intelligible whole, 
there inevitably is (or appears to be) pro tanto a 
gap in the embodiment of spiritual purpose and 
significance. A purpose is not realised, it is not a 
reality as penetrating and vivifying a mass of 
content, if it is not affirmed continuously and 
traceably in a coherent structure. 2 No purpose or 
significance can be realised through miracle. Any 
prejudice to the contrary arises from the logical 
blunder of fancying the concrete universal the 
individual incompatible with the realisation of 
"general law"; which is really nothing but a 
weakened form 3 of one or other of the universal 
determinations concerned in the individual structure. 
I shall be reminded that causal or mechanical 
explanation is necessarily incomplete and proceeds 
ad infinitum. Efut this is only so if it is taken as 

1 I observed above (p. 138) on the application of this law to the 
justification of contingent matter by final causes. If, as we have 
held, teleology in the sense which connects it with contingency, is 
secondary and ultimately unreal, the distinction thus founded of 
course disappears. 

2 It is most obvious, and most remarkable, that M. Bergson has 
never dealt with the conception of a logical universal. His notions 
of identity and association are those of Mill and Bain. He holds it 
inconceivable for identity to be realised through difference. The 
position is absolutely clear in DonnteS) pp. 122, 158. A true notion 
of Identity would remodel his entire philosophy. 

8 Every significant idea is potentially a class - idea ; but to 
consider it as a class-idea a predicate capable of plural applications 
instead of considering the detail of its content as a member in the 
universal nature of the system to which it belongs, is to consider it 
in a weakened form. To obtain such class-predications, is not, for 
example, the aim of true scientific induction (Logic^ 2nd ed., ii. 174 ff.). 


total or absolute, i.e. as involving homogeneity. 
And even so it is only another side of the same 
defect of finite experience which makes all teleo- 
logical explanations arbitrary and eclectic. The 
former cannot be complete nor the latter rationally 
justifiable in any experience so far as it is incapable 
of unifying reality. If both were complete, they 
would inevitably blend, and the special characters 
which constitute their differences would become 
aspects within a unity. This is not an empty 
imagination. The relation of cause and ground to 
the whole, on the one hand, 1 and the tendency of 
teleology to expand into systematic coherence, 2 on 
the other hand, exhibit the beginning of the con- 

Organic 7. A note of the one-sidedness which we are 

deprecating is to be found in the attempt to analyse 
mechanism into degenerated finite teleology, on the 

not to finite ana i O gry o f secondary automatism; to interpret 

conscious- ** J J . - . 

ness. reflex response throughout the organic world m 
terms of such acquired facility as that of the skilled 
pianist. 3 The contention is that there cannot be a 
machine embodying an idea, unless it is definitely 
constructed and also " worked " supervised and 
guided by a finite consciousness with its explicit 
finite teleology. 4 

In the case of machines constructed by man, 
there is a certain plausibility in this contention. If 

1 Author's LogiC) 2nd ed., i. 238. 

2 P. 129 above. 

8 Note that if this explanation only appeals to consciousness in 
the sense of an instinct determined by natural selection, there is really 
no basis at all of conscious teleology, beyond the need or pleasure 
of following an instinct, which implies no guidance by purposive 

* Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism^ i. 291. 


we fix our eyes on their limitations, and not on their 
positive nature, it is undeniable, of course, that their 
independence and self-dependence do not carry 
them far. But this surely is very explicable. It is 
just because the teleology of finite consciousness, 
whose construction they are, is itself so very partial 
and eclectic. The inferior self-dependence of the 
artificial machine is a mirror of the narrowness of 
the finite consciousness, and we shall see reason 
to suggest below that there are problems which 
civilised man actually solves from day to day, which 
are, as a whole, beyond the grasp of conscious 
intelligence, and cannot be dealt with except by a 
conjunction of consciousnesses only in part deter- 
mined by their consciousness. Nevertheless, there 
is nothing in the contact of men with their machines 
to show, so far as this goes, that the human con- 
sciousness is not mechanically constituted ; there is 
certainly no observable point in the construction 
or control of a machine at which anything but 
mechanical interconnection takes place between the 
producer and his product. 

And if, instead of picking out the limitations, we 
look at the possibilities and distinctive nature of a 
machine, as well as that of any human achievement 
in material construction, as, say, of a work of fine 
art, is not its plain lesson that ideas can be embodied 
in unconscious and external form mechanical in every 
fibre, and that these cases, which are unmistakable 
because of their origin in finite consciousness, should 
give the line to our interpretation of nature where 
no such consciousness is traceable ? 

Exactly so, I suppose is the rejoinder, it does 
give the line to our view of nature, and that view, 


therefore, is that all organic machinery originates in, 
and is worked by, a finite consciousness. But this 
seems to be drawing a moral which rests on a purely 
incidental feature, and on the whole is contrary to 
fact, in place of one which is supported by all the 

No doubt our machines, for the reason stated 
above, are one-sided and imperfect machines ; and 
the works of nature excel them in independence, 
though not in special contrivance. But the works 
of nature, like the greater achievements of history 
and practice, are not dependent for their construc- 
tion and operation on a relevant and explicit con- 
sciousness. We know that in man himself it is 
only a small proportion of the bodily mechanism 
of which we even say in popular language that it is 
controlled by consciousness ; and whatever con- 
sciousness may be present in the world of plant-life 
or of the lower animals, it is obviously not of a kind 
that could devise or know how to employ the major 
part of the complex arrangements of their bodies. 
A famous argument of Kant applies here in principle. 
Reason has its purposes, but they are higher pur- 
poses than to effect the working of the bodily 
machine ; even in man that is mainly left to reflexes 
and instinct, and is better done by them. We know 
that reason is incapable of teaching us to swallow, 
or to move an arm ; and we cannot imagine that 
the dim feelings, if there are any, which accompany 
plant-life, taught the orchid to put gum on the base 
of its pollen-masses, or to adopt stamen-fibres which 
bend as they are carried through the air. If we 
ascribe these things to a finite teleological conscious- 
ness, we must inevitably be driven on to say as 


much for the forces which, in shaping the Eastern 
Mediterranean, prepared the essential basis of 
Graeco-Roman and Christian civilisation, or which 
made Great Britain an island, and planted marble 
mountains in Attica. 

I am not concerned to maintain that purposes 
and ideas do or do not as such operate in nature ; 
it seems doubtful what the question can mean. 
What I am interested in pointing out may be taken 
to mean almost the reverse, viz. that Nature below 
conscious intelligence, and Providence, if we like to 
call it so, above, can achieve, without the help of 
a relevant l explicit consciousness, results of the 
same general type as those which are ascribed to the 
guidance of finite minds. The participation of the 
inorganic world in history is thoroughly continuous 
with that of the organic world ; and it will hardly 
be contended that in the former at all events finite 
consciousness is operative, or that the process is not 
mechanical in the sense we have given to the word. 

The notion that expression of ideas is somehow 
opposed to mechanism is widespread and tenacious. 
And it is a fallacy of the same kind as that which 
takes uniformity to mean that the future will resemble 
the past. 

Thus, for example, in dealing with the utterance 
of mind through the fine arts, we constantly speak 
as if " expression " came somehow straight from the 
soul, 2 while " mechanical finish " was something 
different in kind. But in truth, of course, both 
are prima facie alike mechanical, and " expression " 
must mean, at least in some respects, a more perfect 

1 I mean by this a consciousness having before it the full end 
which is achieved. - Cf. Ward, Naturalism^ i. 109. 


mechanical control over the medium than what is 
termed par excellence mechanical execution. Mind 
and individuality, so far as finite, find their fullest 
expression as aspects of very complex and precisely 
determined mechanical systems. This is the law, 
I believe wholly without exception, for every higher 
product of human soul and intelligence and also of 
cosmic evolution. It follows necessarily from the 
nature of " being and trueness," as Plato calls them. 
The greater being must have the more perfect 
coherence, and the more perfect coherence must 
have the fuller content. The mechanical appear- 
ance the continuity of transition and determination 
must therefore be unbroken, though we may 
suppose it to depend on the nature of a system in 
which individuality is manifested through universal 
law. But it is idle to appeal to finite purposive 
consciousness as in principle the sole vehicle of 
teleology within our experience, and the source, 
through its fossilised habits, of what is construed 
as a mechanical " nature." The external must be 
frankly accepted as a factor, actual but not ultimate, 
in the universe. 

Having now, after the argument of section 4, 
no need to restrict teleology to the realm of finite 
purpose, we can freely suppose the world -plan to 
be immanent in the whole, including finite mind 
and also mechanical nature. Thus the obviously 
secondary and fragmentary being of the former 
would constitute a partial revelation of the meaning 
of things, but by no means its principal vehicle or 
the sole organ of guidance in evolution or in history. 
The point here maintained against the critic depends 
on the continuity of mechanism with the individuality 


of the real, in virtue of that deeper aspect of the 
latter which is logical rather than teleological. 
This is why, admitting a certain inadequacy in 
the mechanical view as commonly understood, we 
still contend that the true spiritual ideal demands 
mechanical intelligibility. 

8. We may now approach a positive result, and The 
first take for illustration the case of an organic isthe 
product commonly supposed to be below the line ofthe ng 
of consciousness, say, a flower. Our view excludes whole * 
two extremes. On the one hand, it is ridiculous 
to say that such a product arises by accident ; that 
is, as a by-product of the interaction of elements 
in whose nature and general laws of combination 
no such result is immanent, as though we were 
dealing with the insight of a human contriver, by 
which the more complex developments and com- 
binations were not anticipated. It is impossible 
in this way to treat part of the world as primary 
and part as a secondary superstructure. We must 
interpret the natur^ of nature as much by the flower 
as by the law of gravitation. If we come to that, 
there are appearances which we cannot on any 
sound principle refuse to rank with the flower as 
teleological, in the most direct and simple formations 
of the inorganic world. The motions of the solar 
system, the curl of a wave, the curve of a cataract, 
the abruptness of a precipice, are appearances deeply 
rooted in the simplest material data, and yet, for all 
we can see, as well meriting a presumption of teleo- 
logical value as any object of consciousness except 
consciousness itself. 1 

1 Ward (Naturalism, i. 276 ff.) has insisted on the downhill trend, 
the "katabolic" character of the physical environment. And he 


On the other hand, we must not say that " pur- 
pose is operative " in the flower or the wave, if that 
is to mean that we ascribe them to an end or idea, 
somehow superinduced upon the course of their 

connects with this its non-teleological, non-constructive character. 
"The inorganic world has nothing to match dynamite, Liebig's 
extract, a steam-engine, or a ship-torpedo." But there are some 
points to bear in mind if we think of drawing a fundamental con- 
" trast. i. The "katabolic" processes of inorganic nature are 
physically continuous with and essential to the " anabolic " processes 
of life, and if the latter are teleological the former can hardly be 
otherwise. The whole life-process as storage of energy, e.g. depends 
on the sun. Much of the work done by purely inorganic forces, 
e.g. the change of rock into soil, are obvious conditions of the 
adaptation of the earth to life. It, therefore, can make no difference 
of principle whether life arose on our earth's surface or not. 2. It 
is only by an eclectic type of teleological judgment that inorganic 
nature can be termed in itself non-teleological. A sunset or a 
mountain or a stormy sea, not to speak of the solar system, though 
they need no anabolic process, yet, if we think of them as ends, give 
as much colour for supposing a directed process, a machine that 
produces them, as Licbig's extract or a ship-torpedo ; and their value, 
surely, may well be reckoned as not smaller. You reply, " They 
need no construction, no machine ; they flow from the principle of 
least resistance." But then, we urge, the contrast between teleology 
and the principle of least resistance falls to the ground. 3. The 
continuity of the earth's geological structure with social and historical 
teleology is obvious. They plainly and essentially belong to the 
same process. " Not so, for life has simply used what it found, and 
could have used anything it found, and perhaps has used quite 
different conditions in other planets." This is no answer, in face 
of the different degrees of success in adaptation which we observe. 
Life might, for all we know, be successful on different lines from 
those which prevail here ; but our kind of life, at all events, does not 
deal equally well with all actual conditions, and there is no reason 
to think that any other kind would be more absolute. Clearly it 
needs a basis which is at one with it. It does appear to me 
as if Ward had not made up his mind between an unteleological 
foundation plus "guidance," and a nature which is self-directing 
throughout (cf. Nat. ii. 253-54). And I believe the reason lies in 
the refusal to admit a true externality and the consequent belief that 
whatever is teleological must be living and subjective (see above, 
p. 142); cf. also "L' evoluzione geologica e la biologica non si 
possono separare" (Varisco, / Massimi Problemi, Milan, 1910). 
It is hopeless to separate inorganic from organic in respect of 


elements by a power comparable to finite conscious- 
ness, operating as it were ab extra, and out of a 
detached spontaneity of its own. If the former 
notion spelt accident, this spells miracle. 

We have seen that teleology is destroyed if no 
determinate universal relations between the differ- 
ences of the unity can be truly predicated. As we 
saw in Lotze, 1 it is impossible to find a point at 
which life is not in appearance mechanically con- 
ditioned. Thus the individuality manifested, apart 
from operative consciousness, in a flower, or moun- 
tain, or wave, really forces on us a conclusion which 
goes so far that the case of human consciousness, 
though appearing so widely different in degree, can 
hardly carry us further in principle. 2 

Avoiding the two extremes just pointed out, we 
are driven to affirm that in the structure and being 
of the flower the common natural elements behave 
according to what they are, and that the wonderful 
creation we behold is simply the immanent develop- 
ment of certain factors, which, no doubt, in their 
isolation seem far enough removed from anything 
of the kind. We have, indeed, to bear in mind 
that the environment, the objective selection, of the 
world, has been active. It is not in a few elements, 
as laid side by side in the laboratory, but only in 
the whole interactions of nature, that the plan of 
the flower has been immanent. All that we are 
certain of, and of this we are certain under any view 
of evolution, is that the structure of the plant or 

1 Page 99, above. 

2 Relation to consciousness, presence in an experience, is no 
doubt the sine qua non of all values. But this does not forbid a 
comparison of our experience of external objects, as indicative of 
teleology, with our experience of our conscious acts. 


animal is a microcosm from which, with adequate 
knowledge, the nature of its environment could be 
read off. Whether we attempt to adhere to the 
strictest doctrine of natural selection* or assume a 
cause of psychological nature, with or without in- 
heritance of qualities acquired by individuals, the 
fundamental point remains the same ; it is the world, 
the environment, which is responsible for the re- 
spective differences between the forms of organic 
evolution. The powers of protoplasm or the initial 
impulse of life l are a common condition and might 
be responsible, at the outside, for certain common 
phenomena in the divergent lines. But on the 
whole, through one capacity of life or another, it is 
the world that has given content to the individual 
commonly so called. The thing is plain in the 
sphere of intelligence and volition, 2 and with the 
slight possible reservation indicated above it is no 
less obvious in the world of organic evolution. I 
venture to urge that here we are really not relying 
on any point which can be disputed on metaphysical 
grounds. Say if you like that tKe cause is psycho- 
logical, e.g. that it is subjective selection and not a 
reaction of matter as such. Still, no sane man will 
maintain 8 that in the regions of structural adapta- 
tion, except in our conscious efforts to develop 
the human body, such a psychological cause does 
conscious teleological work. There is really an 
equivocation in suggesting that the assumption of 

1 Bergson, Evolution cr^atrice^ passim. Cf. Varisco's spontaneity 
of the monads. All this " life impulse " and " spontaneity " seem to 
me merely devices to represent a concrete start for the universe. 
But the universe must be what it is, and they might just as well 
assume a "nature," as I do. 

2 See Lect. IX., below. 3 See p. 144, above. 


such a cause in these cases helps to account for 
their teleology. It does not solve problems, nor 
contrive adaptations. In fact, it would 'be much 
truer to assent that subjective selection is negative 
and natural selection positive than with writers of 
eminence to affirm the reverse. Subjective selec- 
tion, we must conceive, offers an infinity of reac- 
tions tending to pass into habits; and it is only 
natural selection that can mould them to a definite 
line of progress, and elicit from among them a 
positive structure. To say that natural selection 
is negative is like saying that the sculptor's art is 
negative because it works by removal. If mind, 
then, is operative in the structural adaptation of the 
animal and even of the plant, it is not operative 
as mind. It does not contain the plan, or guide 
the line of progress. It may be, as compared with 
the reactions of matter, a more felicitous conception 
of the agency by which the plan, immanent in the 
whole, can be appropriated and actualised. But 
in any case, we are sure of this, that a work as 
wonderful as the works of finite consciousness is 
done, say, in a flower, without any intervention 
of consciousness as a teleological agency ; that is, 
as endowed with a plan or capable of solving a 
problem. In this case no one would advance the 
suggestion of the miraculous intervention of a con- 
sciousness, which would meet us if we appealed to 
the embodiment of mind in artificial machines or in 
works of aesthetic expression. 1 

And, moreover, any such suggestion has, in my 

1 In Driesch's Enielechy, which is his name for the power under- 
lying the wonderful facts of alternative development, or repair of 
injuries, there is, of course, no question of consciousness, 


view, been entirely put out of court by the examina- 
tion to which we have subjected the correlative 
conceptions of mechanism and teleology. The idea 
that when a man constructs a clock,, or composes 
a sonata, you have a purposive intelligence operat- 
ing by the bare form of design on a system which 
thus receives something that cannot be communi- 
cated by the reaction of mechanical parts on one 
another, should now appear to be a contradiction 
in terms. No one would think to-day of account- 
ing for a flower by an explanation of that kind, say, 
by the purposive interposition of a creative intelli- 
gence, and whether or no Nature can aim at ends, 
it is bare fact that without any contriving conscious- 
ness she can present them to our minds. 

Thus we have partly seen, and we may now 
further see, that the foundations of " teleology " 
really individuality in the universe are far too 
deeply laid to be explained by, still more, to be 
restricted to, the intervention of finite conscious- 
ness. Everything goes to show that such con- 
sciousness should not be regarded as the source 
of teleology, but as itself a manifestation, falling 
within wider manifestations, of the immanent indi- 
viduality of the real. It is not teleological, for the 
reason that as a finite subject of desire and volition 
it is " purposive." It is what we call purposive 
because reality is individual and a whole, and mani- 
fests this character partly in the short-sighted and 
eclectic aims of finite intelligence, partly in appear- 
ances of a far greater range and scope. The large- 
scale patterns of history and civilisation are not to 
be found as purposes within any single finite con- 
sciousness ; the definite continuity and correlation 


of particular intelligent activities, on which the 
teleological character of human life as a whole 
depends the u ways of Providence " are a fact 
on the whole of the same order as the development 
of the solar system or the appearance of life upon 
the surface of the earth. It is impossible to attribute 
to finite consciousnesses, as agents, the identity at 
work within finite consciousness as a whole. This 
identity is exhibited in a development which springs 
from the linked action of separate and successive 
finite consciousnesses in view of the environment. 1 
Every step of this development, though in itself 
intelligent and teleological, is in relation to the 
whole unconscious ; and the result is still "a nature," 
though a second and higher nature. This principle 
is all- important, and holds throughout all levels of 
being. I am content to stake my whole contention 
upon it, and if it can be overthrown, or if I have 
misconceived the relation of anti-naturalist writers 
to it, I shall be most eager to be set right. 

9. I will repeat and emphasise the two parts of TWO 
the contention. Teleology 

i. There is teleology below consciousness. The 
intelligence of man and of animals that can be called 
intelligent does not, as I see the matter, sustain or 
conduct their bodily life. To say that all vital 
responses have been inherited from volitional or 
quasi-volitional behaviour is, to my mind, doubtful 
in fact, but in any case, an evasion of the point of 

In the first place, if something analogous to 
volition 2 moulded the structure of the body in 

1 This argument, as was suggested above, is capable of a further 
application. See below, p. 159. 2 Lotze, Metaphysics^ sect. 230. 


earlier phases of evolution, it never moulded them 
by any conscious wisdom in the mind of that phase ; 
it followed, almost blindly, the determining of a 
deeper wisdom, which lay hidden in the general 
structure of the environment. The denial of teleo- 
logical significance to natural selection is typical of 
the contention which I am arguing against. 

In the second place, whatever mind may have 
done in the past for our bodily structures and 
responses, this cannot come into court when we 
ask what part it plays to-day, Man's mind and 
purposes presuppose, accept, and are founded on, 
his actual body ; the plant-mind, if there is one, 
presupposes and accepts the plant-form. Say here, 
as was said of man, that mind is present from the 
beginning ; still it is present in forms so elementary 
that they must on the whole be moulded rather than 
mould. The orchid, as I have said above, could 
have no mind that contrives its fertilisation any 
more than man has a mind which could teach him 
to swallow or digest, or could choose the place or 
century of his birth. Everywhere finite conscious- 
ness makes its appearance, so far as this is obvious 
and unmistakable, at a relatively high level, focus- 
ing and revealing the significance of a huge compli- 
cation of mute history and circumstance behind it 
and surrounding it. 

Teleology ii. And with the mention of history, and the 
sciousness" time and place of a man's birth we come to Tele- 
ology above finite consciousness. In history, or in 
what is greater than history, the linked develop- 
ment of art or ideas and religions, the principle of 
a teleology beyond though exhibited in finite con- 
sciousness is clear and unambiguous. It is not 


finite consciousness that has planned the great 
phases of civilisation, which are achieved by the 
linking of finite minds on the essential basis of the 
geological structure of the globe. Each separate 
mind reaches but a very little way, and relatively 
to the whole of a movement must count as un- 
conscious. You may say there is intelligence in 
every step of the connection ; but you cannot claim 
as a design of finite intelligence what never pre- 
sented itself in that character to any single mind. 
The leader of a Greek colony to Ionia in the eighth 
or ninth century B.C. was certainly paving the way 
for Christianity ; but his relation to it, though in a 
higher way of working, was essentially that of 
a coral insect to a coral reef. Neither Christianity * 
nor the coral reef were ever any design of the men 
or the insects who constructed them ; they lay 
altogether deeper in the roots of things ; and this, 
as I hold, really carries with it the conclusion 
which in principle must be accepted about evolu- 
tion. Nothing is properly due to finite mind, as , 
such, which never was a plan before any finite . 

10. The contrast, then, of mechanism with tele- what 
ology is not to be treated as if elucidated at one ^ 
stroke by the antithesis of purposive consciousness 
and the reactions of part on part. It is rooted in 
the very nature of totality, which it regards from 
two complementary points of view, as an individual 
whole, and as constituted of inter-reacting members. 
Of the two points of view, it is impossible for either 
to be entirely absent. Assuming this impossibility 
to be possible, a total failure of mechanical intelli- 
gibility would reduce the spiritual to the miraculous, 


the negation of all spirituality, as a total failure of 
teleological intelligibility would reduce individuality 
to incoherence, and annihilate mechanism. But 
teleology, being usually thought of par excellence 
or in abstraction, may more easily be supposed 
absent than mechanism, which must attend any 
inter-relation at all. " Understanding without 
Reason is something, Reason without understand- 
ing is nothing." 1 

The entire doctrine of theism in the Kantian 
sense as involving a personal creator and governor 
of the world, and with it the paramount importance 
of subjective selection and bare finite consciousness 
as agents in the universe, in contrast with natural 
selection and the immanent plan of things, is here 
called in question, though another and a deeper 
importance might attach itself, as has been indicated, 
to finite consciousness from a wholly different point 
of view. The meeting of extremes in metaphysics 
is not a thing that should surprise us ; and the 
polemic against the mechanical view of the universe 
and the epiphenomenal doctrine of intelligence 
may find these conceptions falling back upon an 
alliance unexpected alike to themselves and to their 
antagonist. In these suggestions we are entirely 
discarding the actual context and contentions of 
recent epiphenomenalism. But the name " epi- 
phenomenalism " seems to suggest a significance 
which has not usually been given it. I do not 
mean to treat consciousness or the self as a by- 
product or an accessory ; but it is becoming more 

1 HegePs Life, Rosenkranz, p. 546. There is really a teleology 
in any order, and there must be some order (Bergson, Evolution 
crtatricC) p. 240). But our ideas of teleology are arbitrary and 
eclectic ; and in our sense, therefore, Teleology may be absent. 


and more obvious that, qua the developed finite 
mind, they must be regarded as appearances which 
come on the top of a great deal that must go before 
them. Two-opposing contentions seem to demand 
fusion. To the voluntarist, the believer in a some- 
thing hardly conscious, underlying explicit intelli- 
gence, in which he finds the fundamental reality 
and the true mainspring of the soul, it must be 
admitted that a vast underground work is involved 
in the formation of an intelligent moral being. The 
conscious self is plainly the last word of an immense 
evolution which is practically and relatively from 
unconsciousness to consciousness ; and presupposes, 
necessarily presupposes, so far as we can under- 
stand, the co-operation of unconscious nature in 
moulding the foundation of mind. 1 I see no logical 
value whatever in assuming the presence of mind 
in simpler forms at earlier phases of evolution. 

But to admit all this to the advocates of an 
obscure something called the will-to-live does not 
destroy, but, if rightly understood, corroborates and 
enhances, the significance and value of intelligence, 
and of self-realisation through the realisation of 
ideas. For it is this that is brought to pass as the 
climax and the revelation in as far as the under- 
ground self emerges into completeness. It is only 
then that we begin to learn what we are, and to 
enjoy or possess ourselves, and, by consequence, 
the world. 

The conscious and intelligent self is on the top 
of, it is made possible by, all the stress and com- 

1 " Ma perchfc la monade si svolga in un soggetto e in un io, 
e necessario che divenga il centro d' un organismo, che quest' organismo 
passi per le diverse phasi," etc. (Varisco, op. tit* p. 222). I cannot 
see how the monad helps. 


plexity of the work that goes before it. If instead 
of calling it epiphenomenal we call it the climax 
and sum and substance of evolution, we should be 
stating the truth which epiphenomenalism carica- 
tures. But it follows, of course, that when the self 
comes, it does not come empty or without presup- 
positions. Mind, in a sense, no doubt is the active 
form of totality, and in that sense is everything ; 
but every particular finite mind has received some 
filling before it is aware of itself; and it could not 
be aware of itself if it had not. It begins, so to 
speak, high up in the world of experience, and is in 
possession at starting of a content and a machinery 
which its world has prepared for it. However little 
a man to-day may believe in materialistic deter- 
minism he will be slow to deny that the bodily 
arrangements and mechanisms are at least the basis 
of the working of the soul. If we look at the matter 
rightly, this gives the organised consciousness an 
enormously greater significance and importance, 
than if we held it to be, so to speak, a structureless 
intellectual protoplasm. It is nothing less than an 
individual spiritual body, a special utterance and 
revelation of the universe in its highest finite form. 
It is bare consciousness and the unmoulded power 
of selection that seem to us in their emptiness im- 
potent abstractions. The concrete self is different, 
and, as we have said throughout, is a world within 
a world of worlds. 

The similarity between these ideas and the 
deepest conclusions of religious philosophy cannot 
fail to attract our attention. That on the whole the 
finite intelligent being has the duty and position 
rather of coming to himself and awakening to his 


own nature and his unity with what we call, by an 
imperfect analogy, a greater mind and will, than of 
controlling the course of the world, or moulding it 
as an independent cause, this is a point of view 
which seems to demand reaffirmation. 1 At least it 
is suggestive as against claims which largely spring 
from making absolute the attitude of individualistic 
moralism, and has, I think, been divined with a 
Spinozistic enthusiasm, though not adequately ex- 
pressed, by some of the scientific leaders whose 
inadequate mechanical theory is the legitimate prey 
of recent philosophical criticism. 

It will be necessary at a further stage to deal 
expressly with the question of the finite individual's 
freedom and initiative. It is enough for the present 
to suggest that as a self-conscious being he is in 
principle a member of the universe inter pares ; he 
is something, however trifling, without which it 
would not be what it is. He is, indeed, an organ 
through which, however slightly in degree, the 
whole maintains itself. And, therefore, it could not 
justly be maintained that nothing is genuinely done 
or effected in him and by him. Only the erroneous 
implication must be avoided as if a finite individual 
could find as it were a TTOV <TT> outside the universe 
and proceed to act upon and reform it. A doctrine 
which brings together the conception of action, 
freedom, initiative, achievement, on the one hand, 
and of the coming to oneself, learning one's place 
and nature, awakening to one's membership, and 
rejoicing in that, greater than ones self, which 
underlies and surrounds ones self, 2 may give and 

1 Cf. McTaggart, Studies in Hegelian Cosmo logy > sect. 135. 
2 " Haeremus cuncti superis." 


receive assistance in the attempt to conceive the 
relations between mind and body, or if this is an 
incorrect expression, the way in which spirit appears 
as a focus to matter. 

To put the case in the extreme. If finite con- 
sciousness were nothing, beyond a mind awakening 
to the significance of that realm or circumference of 
externality to which it serves as a centre, and a 
self-identification with the logic and the tension of 
the absolute in that one vortex or focus of its being, 
can we say that this would amount to no achieve- 
ment, and to nothing at all of value? But I am not 
maintaining this ; it seems as if we might get nearer 
the matter and make a better case for personality 
and initiative than that of mere revelation and 
awakening. Still, dare we say that this alone, the 
mere recognition of the infinite in ourself, would be 
nothing worth having, and nothing in which the 
living finite man the conscious body as a whole, 
might be ennobled by achievement ? 



i. WE have seen that teleological wholes are in- Alleged 
evitably constituted by what may fairly be called 
mechanical relations, that is to say, a determinate chamsm 
relativity of part to part in the light of the whole. 
In accordance with this contention we have so far 
insisted upon the " mechanical " aspect of the 
material expressions of intelligence. Now we are 
to argue from the character of material expressions 
of intelligence to the general possibility of a material 
counterpart of consciousness, the term counterpart 
being used in the restricted sense suggested by the 
relation of " equivalent " quantitative and qualitative 
series. 1 

But one misunderstanding should first be guarded 
against. " Granted," it may be said, " that within 
every teleological whole there is and must be some- 
thing which we may call mechanism, yet neverthe- 
less we must bear in mind the complete and certain 
subordination of Mechanism to Teleology. The 
end determines the means ; the means, the parts or 
elements, with their determinate reactions, have no 
initiative ; no power of self-organisation ; they are 

1 Cf. author's Logic, 2nd ed., ii. 74 ff. on " a and a series." 

161 M 


in no sense to be credited with the end ; that can 
only come from purpose/ 1 

Now we have seen that in one sense the 
" mechanical " point of view is really subordinate. 
It is though not logically or truly separable yet 
separable on sufferance, separable as accompanying 
an insight which is imperfect in comparison with 
the complete apprehension of an individual whole. 
A child will quickly see how one brick rests upon 
another ; it would be beyond him to understand 
what thickness a wall must have to carry itself and 
the roof, or how the lines of the house must run if 
they are not to jar with one another for the educated 
eye. These are all " determinate " reactions, and 
" according to law " ; but as the construction of the 
whole is approached they become more various and 
harder to hold together, so that, for example, the 
fact that every brick must be held in place by some- 
thing else, becomes relatively less and less illuminat- 
ing as we go on to consider the buttress or the arch. 

But if we pass on to say that the purpose of the 
whole " determines " the mechanical factors, we 
seem to be transmuting the antithesis of part to 
whole within something individual into the anti- 
thesis of bare particulars to an empty generality. 
The " purpose of the whole," after all, simply is the 
whole, put together as it must be put together if it 
is not to contradict itself and the context of experi- 
ence. Certainly you could not construct such a 
whole as a human dwelling-place by attending solely 
to the laws according to which bricks can be built 
up into a wall. The essentials of life, apart from 
which the structure will be self-contradictory, must 
impose a number of conditions and reservations on 


the choice and application of material ; and in this 
sense one may say that the material is subordinate, 
and is selected by the purpose of the structure. 
Only we have clearly to understand that this point 
of view is purely relative ; that the essentials of 
life on their side must clothe themselves in deter- 
minate form, and submit to selection and modification 
by the nature of what is called par excellence the 
material, as actually, though not in general to so 
great a degree, as the material by them. And by 
entering into this larger combination, what first 
appear as the several conditions, the definite isolable 
factors, show on their side that more is immanent 
in them than we knew ; and in face of the work of 
a great architect we may exclaim, " I never thought 
that such things could be done with brick," perhaps, 
or " with iron." 

" But are you not forgetting/' it may be urged, 
11 that a heap of bricks left to itself will not so much 
as build itself into a wall ? Surely the man with 
his pair of hands is the all-important factor, with the 
appearance of which on the scene teleology begins 
to operate directly, and ideas impose themselves 
upon what would otherwise remain mere heaps of 
material." * 

This does well enough for a rough statement of 
apparent facts from the point of view of common 
sense ; but it is inadequate for critical theory, and, 
as is constantly the case, the supreme insight of 
skilled and sensitive practice will be found to sup- 
port the attitude of theoretical criticism. 

What is it, then, that man with his hands can 

1 Cf. Driesch, Gifford Lectures, ii. 193, which I had not seen 
when I wrote this passage. 


do ? He can apply a mechanical force which in 
virtue of the character ultimately revealed in con- 
sciousness l is able to react in view of a great variety 
of conditions taken together as a whole, and as a 
whole extended in time. He cannot I speak now 
of what is indisputable, of external effects he can- 
not produce in the world any change except by his 
bodily mechanical force in strict co-ordination with 
the forces and qualities of material things. The 
idea in his consciousness is powerless except in as 
far as it is a guide to combinations and modifica- 
tions which are latent in determinate Reality, includ- 
ing his own physical abilities. His advantage over 
" natural " objects is that his range of combination 
is wider that it is, indeed, in principle universal, 
for all that can be experienced can enter into his 
construction of the world. But yet, in his opera- 
tions on nature, he is essentially no more than a 
co-operative mechanical force. He may be the 
predominant partner, from dealing with a completer 
whole ; but in principle he is just as dependent on 
the reactions which he can elicit from the other 
members of the partnership as he is on his own. 
His very ideas are not created from the void, but 
simply represent the immanent capacities of his 
world as it develops in fact and for consciousness 
towards a more individual whole ; and so far as by 
defect and confusion they fail to represent this, they 
become mere empty symbols of ignorance and im- 
potence. After all, then, the man with his hands 
does not bring with him a new principle or create 
out of nothing a new totality. He reacts, so to 
speak, to a much more concrete whole than his 
1 See below, p. 198. 


material copartners, but he can do nothing with 
them beyond what it is in themselves to do. Tele- 
ology, if we know what we mean by it, is a very 
good name for the principle of his action ; but it 
only means that he is able to take account of more 
complete totalities than those with which material 
objects in random grouping (i.e. grouping not 
specially interesting to man) are likely to be in 
relation. Every bit of his totality, as of theirs, is 
determinately necessary in the combination which 
constitutes it. As an end it is not to be credited, 
on the side of content, to finite, conscious, and 
"purposive/' interposition. It is the purpose of a 
section of the world which through consciousness 
has become explicit ; or perhaps, which in making 
itself explicit has found it necessary to develop con- 
sciousness. It may be rejoined that at least the 
man wants it, while there is no meaning in saying 
this of the material associates of his work. But 
this again probably covers a fallacy. " The man 
wants it," means that under all the conditions of the 
situation he finds in himself a contradiction if he 
does not have it ; but take away the conditions of 
the situation and you modify or remove the want, 
while if the conditions are to remain and to count 
in the result the want cannot be ascribed to the 
man the man cannot be ascribed to the man in 
abstraction from them. 

The sense of co-operation, thus demanded by 
theory, is strongly marked in the highest grades of 
practice, without, it may be noted, having any re- 
course to pan-psychism. The sculptor tells us that 
the statute is found lying in the marble. The glass- 
maker reports that the " metal " (the heated glass) 


is alive in his hands, simply coaxing him to make 
something beautiful. 1 The iron-forger, it has been 
said, is useless until he acquires the feeling of the 
iron. 2 These things are more than rhetoric. The 
matter the physical medium of art, is one-half its 
. inspiration. Teleology does not come out of the 
empty mind ; it is the focusing of external things 
together until they reveal their internal life. 
Dangers of 2. In approaching the discussion of a " median i- 
cal " counterpart of conscious process, it will be well 
to begin by explaining the point of view which for 
us gives interest to the question. 

It is strenuously denied that the hypothesis of 
" interaction " supports Indeterminism. One would 
be glad to credit this denial, and it may be admitted 
that the connection between the two hypotheses is 
not inevitable. But the confusion which prevails 
in the whole treatment of teleology strongly suggests 
that the connection is natural, if not inevitable, and 
that if it is abandoned the main attractiveness of 
interaction in itself a difficult view 3 is removed. 
It is possible no doubt to conceive a system of a 
purely psychical nature such as to fulfil the conditions 
essential to connected mental process, and differen- 
tiated character or energy. And there would seem 
to be no theoretical objection to the idea of such a 
system in itself. But if it is bonafide to satisfy an 
interest which can not be satisfied compatibly with 
the idea of a mechanical counterpart, then there is 
a question if it can remain within the conditions of 

1 Morris, joint vol. of Lectures on Art, p. 195 ; Bosanquet, 
History of Aesthetic \ p. 455. 

2 Daudet's /<K. 

3 See Stout, Manual of Psychology, Introd. Chapter iii. " Body 
and Mind." 


determinate interconnection, and whether the whole 
conception of the individual as being something, or 
possessing a nature of his own, would not have to 
be surrendered. In short, the idea of the mechanical 
counterpart is not so valuable for its own sake, as 
by way of a protest against a certain theoretical 
tendency, apart from which the exclusion of the 
mechanical from the conditions of psychical action 
would lose all its attractiveness. 

We have seen the strength of this tendency in 
the impulse to bring purposive action into sharp 
antithesis with determinate reaction ; to treat pur- 
pose and selection as if they were sufficiently ex- 
plained by pronouncing the word consciousness, 
and as if the logic of the whole or the assertion of 
unity against contradiction ceased to be intelligible 
when we pass from the laws of nature to the aims 
of conscious action. Now so long as we continue 
to pay attention to all that side of purposiveness 
and teleology which finds expression in the material 
and quantitative counterparts of mind the socialised 
surface of the earth, the machine, the work of art, 
the body, we have before us something which 
emphasises the intelligible and coherent side of 
content and self-expression. 1 We observe and it 
is contrary to our most dangerous prejudices but 
fully in harmony for example with Plato's deepest 
views that the subtlety and precision of cor- 
relations which are quantitative though not appre- 
hended through number does not diminish but 

1 There is a tendency to say that the unity of a system can 
lie solely in the purpose, and to treat it as a high conception that 
the means may be without limitation adaptable to the purpose. It 
follows from our analysis of teleology that this conception is a con- 
tradiction in terms. 


increases as we approach the completest forms of 
self-utterance accessible to man ; and we are led to 
look for the differentia of the spiritual rather in the 
most comprehensive organised harmony than in the 
escape from determinateness and sufficient reason. 1 
Now it seems to be in this very escape from 

1 The typical action which, e.g., M. Bergson loves to use as an 
instance is the raising of one's hand. (Evolution^ p. 99 and else- 
where.) And, no doubt, its unity as a felt action is very simple, 
though if M. Bergson takes it as indivisible in the sense of not pos- 
sessing diversity because it is comprised in a single feeling, his view 
seems incorrect. (See Bradley, Mind y Ixix. p. 5 1 ; Appearance and 
Reality^ pp. 521, 569.) No doubt, also, as M. Bergson observes, 
the analysis of such an act into definite multiplicity, as e.g. into 
spatial positions traversed by the hand, is the application of an 
external point of view, which does not present itself in carrying out 
the act. That is to say, the positions traversed are felt as a whole, 
not one by one. (Mitchell, p. 45.) But what a type of act to 
choose, compared with what Spinoza or Leibniz, or M. Bergson at 
his best, would term in the full sense a free activity ! (" C'est de 
l'me entiere, en eflfet, que la decision libre mane ; et 1'acte sera 
d'autant plus libre que la serie dynamique a laquelle il se rattache 
tendra d'avantage a s'identifier avec le moi fundamental." Dannies^ 
p. 128.) What are we to say of the action of a statesman or a 
general, or of any dominant action in which the whole of a life is 
summed up, when a single piece of conduct issues from the logical 
focus of a library of books and papers and a life-time of experience ? 
And for us, these are pre-eminently the actions by which man is 
man. And one strongly suspects that underneath the emphasis laid 
on spontaneity and immediacy of action as a part of " life," and as 
contrasted with intelligence, there is a basis of latter-day prejudice 
and pessimism, by which the value and genuineness of such work as 
that just referred to is depreciated, and the conscious side of creative 
art and invention disparaged, by contrast with what is in the narrower 
sense naive and impulsive and impressionist. We may call attention 
in M. Bergson as in all other recent theory of this type to the extra- 
ordinarily inadequate account of the artist and the inventor. Evolu- 
tion, pp. 49 and 368. Invention for him, as for all of a certain group 
of French and American thinkers, is an unaccountable divergence 
from imitation a difference split from its identity, which the intelli- 
gence cannot grasp. Cf. also Le Rire, p. 175. " L'art est une 
rupture avec la societe* et un retour a la simple nature." (See 
Evolution, p. 178.) No doubt it is natural to suggest that for 
M. Bergson Intuition is inclusively related to Intelligence, much as, for 
Hegel, Reason to Understanding. Cp. Lindsay's Bergson, p. 237 fi. 
I see that it ought to be, but I do not think that it is. 


determinateness that the true attractiveness of inter- 
action consists. It is bound to treat mind as a 
source of energy unaccounted for in the bodily 
balance-sheet^ So long as the system of body and 
mind together is capable of being regarded as 
having something to which it is bound to be " equi- 
valent," as possessing, however ideally and in the 
abstract, an aspect of correlation with a quantity, 
there is meaning in treating it as of the nature of a 
totality ; as something to which it makes a differ- 
ence how far it is occupied or possessed by interests 
and impulses according to their respective inten- 
sities and their capacity for unification. But if the 
very idea of limit or equivalence is destroyed, then, 
it would appear, we have to deal with an unfathom- 
able fountain of undifferentiated " spiritual energy," A 
and all presumption of the unity of reason of a 
tendency in hostile impulses to conflict, and there- 
fore to be reconcilable, is torn up by the roots. 
" The very idea of equivalence " ; for this, it would 
seem, is all that the constancy of energy amounts 
to. 2 All the arguments which point out how very 
slight and abstract is its import, and how little it 
affects the nature of processes which are quantita- 
tively equated, 3 are really in favour of leaving to 

1 Cf. Wundt, Logic^ ii. 507, cit. in the author's Logic^ ii. 75. 

2 In Manual^ Introd. chap. iii. Professor Stout points out, a 
little in the tone which I deprecate, that the Law of Conservation of 
Energy is only asserted of a material system. But surely a psychical 
system, capable of exchanging energy with a material system, is ad 
hoc material. 

3 In these regions it seems pretty much to equal an assumption 
that a finite existence has a finite quantity, that is to say, that 
although different forms of energy may not be measurable by the 
same physical unit, or some of them not by any physical unit at all, 
yet on the assumption defended in the text it is possible to say that 
in principle they correspond to measurable quantities, and will not 
vary without a reason affecting all the equivalents alike. 


psychical activity this last vanishing link with the 
world of physical constants. Apart from it, or 
from some effective substitute in an assumption 
of rationality of the psychical system, the whole 
context and tissue of consistent habit and reasonable 
motive is at the mercy of a volcanic redistribution 
of energy, suggested by nothing, and bearing no 
relation to the positive factors operating in the 

Now what seems worth pointing out is this. If 
the popular mind had its way it would doubtless 
exploit this conception to the full, not merely in the 
directions where it is perhaps impossible to refute, 
but in the coarser suggestions which no serious 
philosophy would countenance. 1 We should not 
merely be told as by the popular doctrine of Free 
Will that the intensities with which objects are pur- 
sued bear no relation to their rank, connection, and 
predominance in the mental organism, but that 
spiritual energy is neither limited by nutrition nor 
capable of being exhausted by fatigue. There is 
much in literature and in common speech that indi- 
cates a proneness to all three of these views, and if 
they were to be seriously pushed home the interac- 
tion hypothesis would at all events have promoted 
an important theoretical contention. 

But views of this kind seem never to be pushed 
home. They are restricted within limits which 
depend on the impossibility of precise measure- 
ments, sometimes making use of ideas analogous to 
that of a power of direction without expenditure of 

1 It is noticeable in this connection that Driesch takes alleged 
spiritualist phenomena as an analogy for the action of his "Ente- 
lechy." I believe him to be a thoroughly sound thinker, but the 
juxtaposition is suggestive. See G.L. ii. 235. 


mechanical energy. 1 They do not challenge the 
overwhelming improbability which would attend 
any thorough-going denial of our current assump- 
tions about the logic of conduct, about nutrition, and 

There is an analogous problem about heredity. 
If, as on some theories would be the case, the soul 
is supposed to come to the body with its definite 
endowment of capacities and dispositions, then that 
view ought to be defended and explained. But the 
overwhelming weight of probability is surely on the 
side of the assumption that all definite differentiation 
belongs to the body, and that all tendencies and 
capacities are transmitted through bodily arrange- 
ments. It is not so much that there is any special 
difficulty in conceiving a soul endowed with disposi- 
tions as that one can see no logical motive for 
adding these to the bodily arrangements which 
prima facie seem to form the main element, or a 
main element, in the differentiation of individuals. 

To insist on such an addition is in fact to attribute 


excessive importance to the physical aspect of life. 
It is because we are afraid of the physical that we 
try to reduplicate it in the psychical. A true view, 
recognising that the whole affair is an arrangement 
of appearances, would not be afraid to follow the 
plain probabilities as to the nature of the arrange- 
ment. But certainly the result would be favourable 
to supposing that all positive factors of soul life are 
represented in the physical counterpart. 

1 See Appendix I. It is not merely that all such ideas are 
difficult and indemonstrable hypotheses. Our objection is, moreover, 
that they bring a fundamentally false bias into psychology and into 
all higher walks of mind. They disconnect directive power from 
dominance and organising power. 


And therefore the views in question seem both 
to be not worth proving and to be, for logic, dis- 
credited ab initio. " Not worth proving," in so far 
as they seem only to survive by restricting them- 
selves to quantities which would involve no serious 
deviation from our common assumptions. It may 
be that no one can prove the present writer 
certainly could not that it is impossible to delay 
death by starvation a second or a minute through a 
supply of physical energy having a psychical source 
independent of nutrition. 1 But it is certain, I sup- 
pose, that no philosopher intends to maintain such 
a possibility up to a point which seriously conflicts 
with our ordinary assumption that life and all 
psychosis depends upon the ingestion of food. A 
thesis which did so conflict, however improbable, 
would be well worth proving. But a thesis which 
merely raises a doubt at the margin where quanti- 
ties are too small for verification, accepting, for all 
the rest, our normal assumption as a working law, 2 
seems not to stand to win anything important even 
\i per impossibile it were established. 

And they are discredited ab initio. It is not 
playing the game in philosophy to suggest a new 
principle of explanation, bringing it up at every 
point to the edge, but not into the region, of pos- 
sible analysis. But the main line of argument 
which is adopted in favour of regarding conscious- 
ness as a source of energy seems to be of this 

1 The contention would have to be that the work of life could 
thus be bonafide carried on ; the phenomena of trance and the like 
would not be fully relevant. 

2 Evolution, p. 275. " Maintenant, d'ou vient 1'dnergie? De 
raliment inge're', car 1'aliment est une espece d'explosif, qui n'attend 
que r&incelle pour se d<*charger de Pdnergie qu'il emmagasine." Cf. 
ref. to Wundt, p. 1 69, above. 


nature. It appears to rely on the impossibility of 
establishing the constancy of energy as an abso- 
lutely precise generalisation. 

Now this generalisation may not be a principle 
for which or for its applicability to body and mind 
one would incur serious logical or ethical sacrifices. 
In the present context it has perhaps no meta- 
physical advantage over the idea of a psychical 
unity exercising mechanical energy 1 according to 
some determinate or rational system. The only 
thing is, that the latter has to be invented, so far as 
at present appears, entirely out of imagination, and 
entirely to overthrow our ordinary ideas of causa- 
tion ; while the former is ready to hand, corresponds 
in general with our working assumptions as to the 
conditions of human life, and in principle assigns the 
control of energy to the predominance of content. 
There seems to be no reason for departing from it 
except the bare possibility of inserting at the 
unknown margin a fragment of a different principle, 
which in its general tendency belongs to an order 
of ideas that dare not lift their heads in daylight, 
and has for its effect, if not for its intention, to 
dissociate will-power from organisation of content. 
And therefore not because of the content of these 
ideas but because of the attempt to maintain them 
only in the dark the suggestion that the soul may 
be a source of energy without mechanical limit 
seems to be logically discredited ab initio. 

This then is the interest which dictates the re- 
marks of the present chapter on interaction. Inter- 
action, as here understood, means the operation of 

1 I believe, if the idea were worked out, such a " psychical ' 
system would show itself to be physical ; cp. pp. 215, 218, below. 


body and mind on one another after the analogy of 
transient causation between material things. And 
it, therefore, means that bare mind develops 
mechanical energy outside and independently of 
the mechanical system of which the body is a part. 
This once assumed, there seems to be no ground 
for the limitation of such energy nor for its distri- 
bution in accordance with any sufficient reason. 1 It 
is not here alleged that to accept a physical counter- 
part subject to quantitative relations is the only 
conceivable system of law for consciousness. But 
it is maintained that some such system there must 
be, if the mind is to be a mind at all, that any such 
system will possess the leading characteristics which 
we find in the physical counterpart, and that it is 
all important to be clear whether in the theory of 
interaction more adequate suggestions to this end 
are being brought forward, or whether the idea of 
system and sufficient reason is being covertly dis- 
carded from the philosophy of mind. 

3. Such a theoretical interest is hostile only to 
views of interaction which demand mechanical 
operation from naked consciousness. So long as it 
is admitted that we cannot dissociate physical from 
psychical states, and that interrelation is most 
naturally assumed to hold between conditions each 
of which has both a physical and a psychical side, 
the fundamental difficulty does not arise. Any 
such view allows us to remain within the general 
analogy of qualitative wholes conditioned by 
more homogeneously 2 quantitative counterparts. 

1 P. 169, above. 

2 The qualitative wholes themselves, though less homogeneous, 
present, it must be remembered, innumerable relations of quantity, 
gradation, contrast, etc., essential to their effect. 


The view thus suggested would not precisely 
coincide with either interaction or parallelism. 
The psychical side would be regarded as an 
inherent character within the physical process, 
coming to light under conditions of relative per- 

Such counterparts are normally of a material 
nature, as in the familiar cases of the physical bases 
of sound and colour, and the simplest assumption to 
which analogy leads us would result in treating the 
relation of psychical and physical on some such 
plan as that which does duty in these well-known 
instances. Enough has been said in the preface in 
the way of disclaiming all explanation of conscious- 
ness. The suggestion before us is not to " explain " 
consciousness on the analogy of the relation of 
sound to mechanical motion of an extended medium 
(which relation itself is a relation of objects of con- 
sciousness), but to extend to consciousness in 
general the conception of de facto equivalence which 
is illustrated by that particular case. We should 
thus get a certain orderly arrangement and con- 
tinuity in the objects of our experience. As has 
been said above, no character necessary to con- 
sciousness appears to be interfered with by retain- 
ing the conception of equivalence. For, even if we 
drop equivalence, we must, in the interest of system, 
retain finite totality, which then would present itself 
as a quantitative limit, no less determinate than 
equivalence, but without the systematic rationale 
which equivalence affords it. We could not pos- 
sibly allow that a given finite mind is an uncon- 
ditioned source of ideas or of energy. Thus, it 
appears that there must at least be determinateness 


of a psychical system. 1 And in the last resort this 
would suffice. But it seems better to retain the 
connection with physical mechanism, because the 
evidence carries it so far that to dispense with it 
after that point becomes a serious break of con- 
tinuity, and because it supplies us, as we have said, 
with some suggestion of a rationale for the psychical 
limitation and differentiation which any sane view 
must assume. 

Mechanical (a) It appears to be admitted that there are parts 
of psychological doctrine, dealing with the more 
mechanical aspects of conduct, which "may ulti- 
mately be replaced by Physiology/' 2 Wherever an 
idea or perception sets in motion a series of connec- 
tions that run an accustomed course to a habitual 
end, it seems to make no theoretical difference 
whether the entire reaction is treated as physical or 
psychical. If the "end" is a muscular movement 
it is plain that at some point physical connection 
enters into the series, and there is nothing in its 
character, even if accompanied by consciousness, to 
suggest that it has not a physical aspect throughout. 
Such a series, whether physical or psychical, merits 
the predicate mechanical. It is released a tergo by 
a stimulus, and in the typical case runs down to its 
end like clockwork without readaptation. Whether 
this typical case is too narrowly described is a question 
that will need reconsideration. But such, in general, 
is held to be the character of the associative habits 
of minds, and especially of those physical or psychical 

1 See further, Lect. IX., below. 

2 Taylor, Elements^ p. 303. Bradley on identical nervous system, 
involving identical memory, Appearance (2nd ed.), p. 356, and Mind^ 
xlix. 23, on the necessity of dispositions, partly physical, for that 
realisation of ideas which is will. 


formations which have become known as " disposi- 
tions." The conception here suggested is not 
even obliged to use the whole of the above admis- 
sions. It is not necessary to argue that any part of 
Psychology can be replaced by Physiology. It is 
enough to note that there can be psychical process 
which itself bears a mechanical character, and which 
without any theoretical sacrifice might at least be 
associated with a strictly physical and mechanical 

(6) Every student of psychology must be struck Finite 
by the recent rapprochement between ideas due to based on 
Hegel and a sort of glorified resurrection of British 
psychology. It is no longer, if it ever really was, 
the boast of the idealist to know nothing of the ments - 
steps of psychical action and evolution. The term 
"machinery" perpetually recurs in the analysis of 
volition ; and while it would be contemptible to 
make capital of such a casual expression in favour 
of a mechanical theory, it is certainly noteworthy 
that the adult mincj is coming more and more to be 
treated as, at least inter alia, a shopful of machines. 1 
Now such a point of view, for an idealist who knows 
his business, is not a retrogression from the deepest 
insight into mind. It is, if rightly handled, the very 

1 Here M. Bergson's language is very significant. Our volitional 
life consists for him in constructing mechanisms, and selecting which 
to combine and to set going, e.g. Evolution, pp. 273-4. Cf. Bradley, 
Mind, xlix. e.g. p. 25. It may be said that the view of the text makes 
the mistake of regarding the work of the cortex as continuous and 
homogeneous with that of the seats of reflex action. But in modi- 
fiable reflexes I suppose it is so in some degree, and, at any rate, 
what is said in the text is sufficiently borne out by the facts of 
associative nexus, if we bear in mind that association marries only 
universals, and that the identity operative in a connection can always 
develop into fresh detail (Bradley, Logic, p. 303). Any habit may 
carry one on to new ground ; sportsmanship, for instance, to politics. 



legacy of Hegel, if not even of Spinoza. Hegel's 
"actual soul" is the perfection of a living body 
highly trained and definitely habituated. 1 We do 
not know, Spinoza warns us in a wonderful passage, 
how much the body may be capable of doing. 2 The 
question really in principle goes very deep. It is 
the question of the ultimate nature of teleology, on 
which something has been said above. Teleology 
is not the immediate translation into fact of fancies 
drawn from nowhere. It is the unity of a real 
individual, for whose parts there is nothing undignified 
in framing and disciplining themselves to a definite 
conformity with the whole. When we think of 
Hegel's conception of the psychical, 3 how, for him, 
the planetary, the terrestrial, and the climatic in- 
fluences draw together and become organic to 
consciousness in the concrete soul-life of a race and 
an individual, we must recognise that to be some- 
thing in particular, to be built up on a definite 
structure which has learned many detailed lessons 
of conformity to reality, is in orinciple what we 
should expect for the most central and concrete of 
all finite existences. Thus it would be a false 
idealism to protest against the use made of laws 
and ' 'dispositions" in recent analyses of Will, 
Thought, and Self. And it is interesting that, more 
particularly, such means are accounted essential for 
the passing of any idea into external fact. 4 The 
mind is at least erected on a foundation of habit 
and determinate reaction, to which no injustice could 
be done by connecting it with a physical counterpart, 
and equating it with a sum of mechanical energy. 

1 Phil, des GeisteSj sect. 411. 2 Ethics, iii. 2. 

8 Phil, des Geistes, sect. 390 ff. * Bradley, loc. dt. 



4. But a sharp line is apt to be drawn when we vice of 
come to fresh purposive adjustments l or to selective 
interest, to that which decides what presentations 
shall actually be attended to, where we deal with 
considerations belonging to the psychology of feeling 
and attention. Here, it is said, we have something 
which cannot be represented in a physical or 
mechanical system ; something, therefore, which we 
must attribute to the purely teleological idea of 
consciousness per se. Now the term Teleology, it 
has already been argued, 2 though not a bad way of 
describing a certain side of conscious activity, con- 
stantly shows itself to be open to grave misunder- 
standing. Such misunderstanding seems to be pre- 
sent whenever the higher or teleological process, in 
being contrasted with mechanism, is also contrasted 
with that necessity and determinateness which 
mechanism and logic have in common. This 
contrast we seem to meet with in the dissociation 
of ethical and historical appreciation from logical 
insight, 3 as well as jn the conception of points in the 
world's history where a new principle comes upon 
the stage, and mechanism is replaced by the action 
of final causes. 4 

It is a misunderstanding of this nature which is 
here attacked. The central principle of Idealism 
seems to be abandoned, if the objects of ethical and 
historical appreciation are set up as more than an 
aspect of the whole in its logical individuality. The 
issue, as it presents itself to me, is whether teleology 
lies in the mere fact that some one cares for some- 

1 Taylor, Metaphysic, p. 3 1 1 ; cf. App. i. 

4 Above, Lecture IV. 8 Taylor, Metaphysic^ p. 305. 

4 Ward, Naturalism^ i. 276. 


thing, or whether the real question is not rather 
what makes anything worth caring for, and anybody 
capable of caring for it. 1 And it appears to me that 
the reason for which the former or accidental aspect 
is insisted on, and the latter, the fundamental aspect, 
is neglected, lies in the spurious interest aroused by 
the conception of naked consciousness, or the stream 
of life, creating determinations apart from sufficient 
reason. It is here that there comes the parting of 
the ways with reference to the mechanical counter- 
part of consciousness. Why cannot fresh purposive 
adjustment and selective interest, be linked, subject 
to the reservations already laid down, with a mechani- 
cally determined system ? The answer plainly is, 
because they are not thought of as flowing from the 
nature of any totality, but are conceived as origin- 
ating de novo, and out of nothing. 

Fresh purposive adjustment and selective interest 
are the same thing viewed from two sides. It is 
enough to discuss the former. It is admitted that 
external action involves psycho-physical systems or 
"dispositions," which being started by their normal 
stimulus run down like clockwork to a habitual end. 
And it is common ground that so far as mental 
operations of this kind are concerned there is no 
final impossibility in their being translated into 
physiological terms. But it is urged that, so to 
speak, on the top of these, of a mind thus organised 
and habituated, the nature of purpose forces us to 
superadd a power of a wholly different order, by 
which new activities are freely generated in view of 

1 See Lect. IV. sect. 5. Contrast "The only real reason I 
can think of why anything should ever come is that some one wishes 
it to be here" (James, Pragmatism, p. 289). If the fulfilment of a 
wish meant satisfaction this might be so. But it does not. 


new experiences, the process remaining for certain 
phases independent of the physical series, and 
resuming relations with it at some further point. 1 

This, no doubt, is not the way in which those 
who insist upon such a view would represent the 
connection. They would say, to put the principle 
in a word, that teleology conies first, and that 
mechanism is fossilised teleology. The bodily 
counterpart of action, some might add, accompanies 
it thus far and no farther, viz. as far as automatism, 
of which secondary automatism would be taken as 
typical, is used in or substituted for psychical 

But for the present purpose priority between the 
two alleged types of process does not matter. The 
point to which attention is drawn remains unaffected. 
It may be stated as discontinuity or severance of 
logical nexus. 

The end, we have urged, is the whole ; and if 
this subject and predicate conflict, then it is the 
character of being an end in time which must give 
way. We have it admitted that an adult human 
mind contains an immense structure of automatic 
machinery, by which connection is effected with its 
habitual ends in normal surroundings. I insist on 
this view, which I believe to be true, and to have 
more significance than is usually seen. Somehow, 
on the top of and by the side of this machinery, 
life is carried forward and new adjustments made. 
Now life is highly continuous. New adjustments 
are made on the basis of old. The machinery must 

1 Taylor, Metaphysic^ p. 311. The quite extraordinary discon- 
tinuity introduced into mental life by Bergson's view must strike 
every student. It becomes in so many words, mechanism plus 
indeterminate choice. See reference above, p. 177. 


be somehow co-operating in all determinate thought 
and action. The environment is a continuum, and 
life, corresponding to it, is also a continuum. In 
every change of environment, and in *every relevant 
adjustment, the matter, so to speak, the stuff and 
medium, is mostly old. The old slides into the new, 
framing and conditioning it at every turn. 1 A man 
is dissatisfied with his tailor or his house or his own 
character, and wants to make a change. There is 
no point at which his want is unconditioned by his 
past practice and surroundings. Things do not suit 
him, and the particular ways in which they do not 
suit him slide into the ways in which the new ones 
are to suit him. He rides on the old identity, 
guided by negations, to a new diversity. Or say 
that he begins by chancing upon some new practice, 
and it harmonises with his past and present better 
than something in that past and present with which 
the new conflicts, and which finally it extrudes. It 
is a very puzzling suggestion that all this determining 
continuum, which makes the main content of the 
new as of the old, is to be represented by a psycho- 
physical order discontinuous with the new adjust- 
ment and heterogeneous from it. " But the end has 
generated it ; has, so to speak, deposited it ; and 
persists itself, as the growing point, to determine 
without being determined. " But is not this in great 
part a misapprehension ? In depositing this sup- 
posed stalactite of mechanical habit, the " end " has 
surely all along been determining not merely some- 
thing else but itself. Take the " end'* the selective 
mind when it was most nearly free, unsupported by 
mechanism, disposing of no automatic connections. 
1 Cf. Mitchell, Structure, etc., p. 480. 


In that phase it was correspondingly empty of con- 
tent. Probably it had not then even the teleological 
form of distinct consciousness. Its distinctness most 
likely depends on the quantity of determinate con- 
ditions in relation to which it has embodied in 
machinery its own nature. 1 All this, the habitual 
and determinate reaction of the mind, by which it, 
as a continuum, responds to its continuous environ- 
ment all this falls not outside, but inside the end. 
The end, no doubt, is something more than any of 
the automatic habits, and more than all of them 
together ; but it cannot be formulated or be aimed 
at except by definite reference to them. It is hard 
to believe that it can stand in need of conditions and 
a mode of determination wholly discontinuous with 
those which belong to the greater part of itself. 
Here again the question of principle is the important 
thing. If the end, the object, the want, were some- 
thing emerging out of the depth of a creative 
consciousness, dissociated from any larger universe, 
then the demand for discontinuity, both logical and 
mechanical, would be intelligible. But if the end 
is the completion, or the supposed and relative 
completion, of what already stands shaped in a 
determinate continuum, and if the very want which 
constitutes it as subjectively teleological means a 
negative and positive congruity of the formed system 
to its logical complement, 2 then the suggestion of 

1 M. Bergson, e.g. Evolution^ pp. 125, 284, makes a strange 
use of this idea, but his view supports our contention in some 

a It cannot be too strongly insisted on how small a part of a 
relatively individual system the desired logical complement at any 
moment may be the opening of a door or the turning of one's head. 
It will be replied the end is not the existence but the possession of 
the whole, and the change, however slight, is ex hypothesi needed to 


discontinuity seems wholly untenable in principle, 
whatever view may be taken as to "what the body 
can do." 

On this point a rough statement f was admitted 
ad interim above. 1 But so far as experience shows, 
the exclusive assignment of automatism to the 
physical and teleology to the pure psychical series 
would break down on the physical side. We have 
observed on this in treating of plant life, and when 
we come to secondary automatism there is no room 
for doubt. Broadly speaking, adjustments of quite 
the same character that would be made by reflection 
can be made under automatic habit, with almost any 
degree of unconsciousness. In other words, it is 
not true that psycho-physical automatic series are 
confined to identical trains of movements, unmodi- 
fiable after being released a tergo by a stimulus. In 
the first place, variation according to the stimulus 
can itself pass into adaptation ; and, in the second 
place, it is clear that adjustment takes place in the 
whole course of movements, whether we call it 
variation according to continuously varying stimuli, 
or adaptation to conditions. The example of skill 
in games seems quite unambiguous. 2 

We are not, by the line which we have taken, 
bound to account for fresh purposive adjustments 
out of purely physico-chemical combinations. All 

achieve this. But it is the partial presence of the whole in you, a 
" partial " which may be all but complete, that conditions the need 
for completeness. 

1 Page 176. 

2 Cf. Stout, Anal. Psych, i. 66, 72, on relative suggestion. A 
simple illustration is a cricketer playing a ball. He is guided by a 
"universal" which adjusts his movements to the special course of 
the ball ; but the universal is a habit, all but unconscious, and involving 
no reflective action of the mind. Cf. p. 40, above. 


that is here attempted is to defend the conceivability 
of a physical counterpart of consciousness on the 
general lines of determinateness. This is the 
point of the analogy (a) of mechanical processes in 
consciousness, such as admittedly might have a 
physiological counterpart, and which yet are abso- 
lutely continuous with choice and initiative, (b) of 
adaptive processes apart from explicit consciousness, 
which seem homogeneous with such adjustments as 
consciousness itself in other cases accompanies. It 
seems impossible to disregard such a continuity. If 
it is clear that physical movement per se explains 
nothing, it is no less clear that in every purposive 
adjustment there is on our hands the fact of a 
physical system in reaction, with an immense store 
of pre-adaptations by all of which the new reaction 
must presumably be influenced. 

It is impossible to rule all this out when we 
consider the relation of the physical and psychical 

5. Two further^ points may be mentioned, " How, 71 Ends are 
it is asked, " can a physical system possibly repre- embodied 
sent a 'meaning' or an 'end'?" Understanding 
that representation and not explanation is in 
question, the answer seems obvious. Meaning is 
represented in a material system in as far as a 
complex reaction, involving the nature of the system 
as a whole, follows upon a simple stimulus. A 
penny-in-the-slot machine represents a meaning ; 
and the principle is not confined to the world of 
human contrivance. When mere contact, such as 
would have no effect on an ordinary leaf beyond a 
slight deflection, causes a carnivorous plant to 
enfold and absorb a substance, it is plain that 


we have what in conscious form (which in 
instinct is imperfect) would be a meaning of the 

So again with a purposive consciousness. " The 
experience of seeking is the experience of giving 
ourselves to realising an end, of adopting it, of 
identifying ourselves with it. Hence for its corre- 
late we may suppose an action of the brain as a 
whole in support of the particular system realising 
the end. Such an action of whole on part is well 
known experimentally in the inhibition and the 
enhancement of reflex actions." l 

This is only a side of the facts that have already 
been insisted on. It comes to this. There is no 
purely fresh purposive adjustment. There is no 
selective interest cut off with an axe from the 
continuum of interests. In face of a change of 
situation there must be a determinate modification 
of the whole and its parts for consciousness, by 
which the so-called " new " purpose is generated out 
of the old, because the universal or spirit of the 
totality is real. There must also be a determinate 
modification of the whole nervous system, and its 
parts, whatever they are. The former is what 
commands our interest. It must be logical, an 
effort to maintain and adjust the whole, giving rise 
by a definite modification to a fresh balance of 
interests and a fresh purposive conception. But 
the latter also we have on our hands, and it cannot 
be disregarded. The mechanical continuum must 
react, and its reaction cannot but be interwoven with 
the new logical development, into the stuff and sub- 
stance of which, as has been explained, it enters at 
1 Mitchell, Structure and Growth of the Mind^ p. 485. 


every point. 1 Is there really anything to be gained 
by suggesting a " guidance/' a " dtclanchement" 
which by the very phrases and conception imply an 
exterior pushing or pulling at certain points, or the 
release of a trigger at certain isolated moments 
from outside the system which is so plainly in the 
main continuous, self-contained, and self-directing ? 2 
6. The object of the present lecture has been The 

1,11. . v r sciences of 

merely to help in paving the way for a genuine con- body and 

ception of the concrete individual. I do not for a 
moment pretend that I can overcome the difficulties, each other 

r at some 

which have been pronounced insurmountable, of points. 
uniting the treatment of soul and body in a single 
explanatory theory. 

The difficulties are : first, the imperfect and self- 
contradictory nature of such beings as body and 
soul, when taken apart from each other and from 
the rest of the world ; secondly, the separateness 
and independence of the physiological and psycho- 
logical points of view as represented by physiology 
and psychology .respectively; and thirdly, the re- 
moteness from actual experience of the scientific 
descriptions furnished by the two sciences in 

I cannot help thinking, however, that when diffi- 
culties of this type are advanced as final objections 
to the philosophical unification of appearances, the 
pretensions of the special sciences, against which 
the objection is supposed to be directed, are really 
being put too high. Granted that a certain falsity 
attaches to all appearances in isolation, and that the 

1 On the continuity of old and new adjustment, see Mitchell, 
p. 480. 

2 This externality, as of an artist to his material, is strongly 
expressed in Driesch, Gifford Lectures^ ii. 336. 


special sciences which deal with them are defective 
if compared with a concrete idea of truth ; still it 
seems erroneous to suppose that such isolation and 
abstraction so much as aims at being the last word of 
intelligence, and that it is impossible to reconstruct 
concrete experience with a distinctness borrowed 
from abstraction. The connection of subjective 
Idealism with a special form of fallacy, as though 
the subjectivist position had in itself no scintilla of 
truth or significance, is an example of this readiness 
to disorganise knowledge. 1 I see no reason against 
an attempt to conceive the restoration of the indi- 
vidual unity which the sciences of body and soul 
have helped to construct by analysing it. For 
scientific analysis, it must be remembered, always 
constructs while it analyses. The thing or object is 
not realised as a whole before analysis as it is after. 2 
It might be possible to make use of such detail 
belonging to these sciences, as would help, if only 
in the most general way, to reconstruct the idea of 
their common object. It seems, f<jr example, to be 
needlessly rejecting a sound suggestion, if we neg- 
lect to bring together with the complexity of bodily 
reactions the more recent conceptions of the complex 

1 On the limited truth of the connection between Introjectionism 
and Subjective Idealism, see Norman Smith, Mind^ Iviii. p. 149. I 
confess that the primary subjectivist argument seems to me to be 
simpler than Introjectionism, and to apply to one's private experience 
without consideration of the relation to others. It is simply that we 
have a logical idea of what self-subsistent objects should be, and that 
the immediate objects of experience fail, on account of their non- 
independence, to satisfy this idea. I may add that it is, I believe, 
an error in fundamental principle to try and obtain any conclusion 
from comparison with others' experience which cannot be got from 
comparison with our own at different times. 

2 On the idea that mind is dealt with by Psychology is a wholly 
symbolic and unreal object, see Alexander, Ar. Proceedings, 1 908. 


psychical machinery of the self and the presup- 
positions which it involves. 

7. Of course, even so, I do not hope to effect The world 
much. But it would be something, in my judgment, 
to emphasise the idea of a being essentially con- | 
nected with or even founded upon its environment condition. 
(past as well as present), to which nevertheless or 
out of which it brings a principle of unity, in a sense 
opposed to the struggling partnership of a body 
and a soul, isolable from the environment and 
from each other, as traditional popular metaphysic 
represents them to us. 

Instead of a self-subsistent eternal angelic being 
we should then be led to conceive of the soul as 
to adapt a phrase of Lotze a perfection granted 
by the Absolute according to general laws, upon 
certain complex occasions and arrangements of 
externality. After all, we must not shut our eyes to 
the fact, that, though we cannot see life coming out of 
inorganic matter, we can, every day and everywhere, 
see souls, with full human capacities, apparently 
being brought into existence by the fulfilment of 
certain very elementary conditions of cell-conjuga- 
tion and division ; and we see that soul is emphati- 
cally, though Plato would not have it so, 1 a thing or 
power or quality (whatever we like to call it), of 
which there can be more and less in every conceiv- 
able degree, and the more and less vary with the 
complication of the material system in connection 
with which it is observed. We are not suggesting 
that mere temporal or spatial multiplicity (as in the 
oscillation of light waves) constitutes a claim to the 
production of consciousness. Such expressions as 
1 Phaedo, 93 D, E. 


complexity and complication, which are forward to 
suggest themselves as non-committal terms, fail to 
do justice to the point. The interest is rather in 
the protracted history and wide comprehensiveness 
of continuous and also co-operative organisation, 
that lies behind and beneath the appearance of the 
soul, and still more of the self or ego in its full 
character. It is not that the mere lapse of time or 
the intricacy of changes postulated by evolutionary 
theory can make a transformation explicable, which 
would be inexplicable if simpler or more rapid. But 
it is that the determinate incidents of self-main- 
tenance which necessarily come into being in the 
constitution of a living and still more of a sentient 
body the structures, the reflexes, the instincts, the 
feelings are shown as at once the instruments by 
which consciousness and then self are evoked, and 
the world with which from their first appearance 
they are identified. Individuality is there for the 
observer before it is for the subject ; or, we may 
say, determinateness, objective continuity, the char- 
acter of a definite centre of experience, precede 
conscious selfhood and furnish its pre-supposition 
and materials. The finite self, then, qua finite, is 
the centre or awakening of a determinate world 
which is its pre-supposition. We may smile at the 
simplicity of the materialist who could explain 
consciousness as an effect of material combination ; 
but it seems to remain true on the whole that when 
the self appears it is " granted by the absolute " as a 
solution to a definite situation in external arrange- 
ments; a solution which could not have been 
predicted or constructed from the mere observation 
of physical nature, but which, nevertheless, being 


given, can in some degree understand itself in 
correlation with its own experience of the physical 
order. 1 And we must bear in mind that in the end 
this being granted by the Absolute upon a certain 
combination is all that any connection, any form of 
causation or inherence, can mean. There could 
therefore be no harm, if we knew what the words 
meant, in saying that matter or externality is the 
cause of consciousness. It is, in all probability, as 
Lotze says, that if* we could observe the germinating 
soul as the microscopist observes the body, its 
development would appear to the observer to pro- 
ceed part passu with the organisation of the body. 2 
And in such a view, whether right or wrong in fact, 
there is nothing whatever materialistic or unspiritual. 
In apparent cosmic development, whether inor- 
ganic, organic, or logical, the rule is for the stream 
to rise higher than its source. 3 

We shall find, then, that the absolute must under 
certain conditions appear as a soul with capacity for 
forming a self, bpcause the stuff, and pressure for 
utterance, are there, to which nothing less than a 
soul can do justice. There will be, as we said at the 
beginning, no motive whatever to level down the 
nature of consciousness to that of the psychical or 
physical foundation; on the other hand there will 
not be the smallest presumption that the psychical 
or physical stuff in which the Absolute has deigned 

1 It appears to me an absolute error of principle to say that 
" newly arising elemental agents must be conceived as already pre- 
existing in some way so that life cannot arise upon a constellation of 
known non-vital agents." (Driesch, Gifford Lectures^ ii. 234.) 

2 MctaphystC) sect. 246. 

3 We have seen that if the inorganic world really follows the line 
of least resistance, then the line of least resistance is capable of 
leading up continuously to life and history. 


to become self-conscious is unfit, because itself an 
externality, to be the instrument of the manifesta- 
tion of which it has become the occasion ; and no 
motive, therefore, to level up as is attempted by 
Panpsychism. What could be higher, short of the 
Absolute itself, than a being which is directly its 
organ for appropriation and appreciation of some 
context and province of experience ? 

It may be urged that a conclusion of this kind is 
mystical and equivocal. Is the self, we shall be asked, 
mechanically determined a tergo by the responses 
and excitements of the nervous system ? Or is it 
purposive and selective, able to be determined by 
an idea of an object which is not yet in existence, 
and which is therefore incapable of producing 
physical effects upon the present nervous system ? 
The question is not merely, Does a man act freely ? 
but, Does a man act at all ? ! We shall attempt to 
answer these questions precisely and concisely 
below. But in general principle I answer stubbornly 
that I cannot see why consciousness, being con- 
ceived as the determinate working of a world of 
content, though gifted with a peculiar unity, a nisus 
towards totality, which can only be noted and not 
explained, should not be the meaning and true 
inwardness of a physical process which at every 
point there would be something definitely to 

If indeed the self brought with it from another 
world a new and independent content, there would 
not be in such a suggestion as the above even the 
show of rationality which I ascribe to it. But as 
the self is essentially a world of content engaged in 

1 Stout, Manual ) Introd^ ch. iii. 


certain transformations, and is nothing merely of 
itself or apart from its world, the conception that this, 
like other new qualities and responses, is granted as 
a supervenient perfection upon certain conjunctions 
of external elements, seems at least a way of formu- 
lating the problem with the minimum of temptation 
to definite error. At any rate, it places in strong 
relief a set of ideas which seem to me to demand 
attention : ideas of the dignity and splendour 
attaching to the position of a conscious being, 
just because it is a world, however subordinate 
in the whole scheme of the universe, in which 
the Absolute begins to reveal its proper nature, 
through and in union with a certain focus of 

8. I will conclude by trying to bring this problem The point. 
of body and mind to the clearest possible point, in 
order to leave no ambiguity as to the principle here 

i. It is hoped that the problem has been made Mind is a 
more approachable by our attitude to teleology. h! g worw, 
The peculiarity of mind, for us, is to be a world of o^Tex- 6 
experience working itself out towards harmony and ternalit y- 
completeness. Such a world, as compared with a 
something bringing with it a new end or principle, 
some angel or genius, or some spark of intelligence 
coming from out-of-doors, 1 is much more easily 
correlated with an arrangement ostensibly spatial, 
like the nervous system. 

According to the conception here advocated 
then, mind is not so much a something, a unit, 
exercising guidance upon matter, as the fact of self- 
guidance of that world which appears as matter, 

1 6vpa$v (Ar. n/)l f y. p. 736 b 28). 


when that reaches a certain level of organisation. 
Matter is externality, a side of our experience which 
seems essential to the whole of things, 1 but not 
capable of independent reality. Under certain con- 
ditions, which are uniform in our experience, a 
certain type of this externality, also in the main 
uniform, persists and develops as the vehicle of life 
and mind. Its responsiveness, which all matter 
ex hypothesi possesses, takes on a new form, ceases 
to be spatial appearance, and becomes a centre of 
response, to which its own antecedent conditions 
persist as external environment. All that has come 
to pass is this new kind of apprehensiveness and 
responsiveness ; purposiveness, according to our 
views, is an incidental consequence of it. Every- 
thing, from an elementary substance upwards, reacts 
in the whole in which it is a member ; life and mind 
do no less, but nothing more. It is purely our 
eclecticism that fails to see " purpose " everywhere, 
e.g. throughout the inorganic world, and conse- 
quently, nowhere par excellence. The so-called 
purpose is really at every point of the whole, though 
more noted when it is a conscious self that is at 
some point in self-contradiction, when what we are 
apt to call a true or subjective purpose a wish or 
want arises. Thus the true representative of pur- 
posive consciousness is an organised system ; not a 
mere subject feeling a want. 

ii. It is for us really a minor question whether 

1 This is, as I understand, the point of divergence between our 
view and that of the many eminent thinkers (e.g. Professor Stout in 
Manual, introd. ch. iii.), who advocate pan-psychism. Even if there 
were, de facto, a psychical something underlying matter, yet it is 
only as definite externality that it plays a part in our life. We have 
no use for it as inwardness. Professor Stout seems to have modified 
his view. See Mind, Ixxvii. p. 9. 


life, with all the facts of organic regulation, can be Life is very 
explained on a physico-chemical basis. For us the 
point is that it most certainly can and must be 
explained, or left unexplained, apart from what is "natural." 
commonly called mind, that is, from finite centres of 
consciousness. If we take Driesch's theory of the 
entelechy as typical for vitalism, we see that the 
influence of the entelechy is precisely relevant to 
the state of the material system and to the stimuli 
acting upon it ; and it becomes a verbal question 
whether in such a case we speak of natural causa- 
tion or not. The theory with the facts on which it 
rests plainly shows the impossibility of denying that 
self-guidance can be immanent in a purely natural 
system, if we take natural in the sense of " unguided 
by conscious mind." The attempt to treat the 
Entelechy as an element operating ab extra upon 
the material system, when it simply represents the 
latter in its normal functioning, must be held purely 
artificial and fictitious. 1 

Thus, then, we have it in principle, plainly from 
vitalist, and ex hypothesi from anti-vitalist, 2 that 
organic regulation is natural and immanent. If 
matter cannot be said to do it, matter can produce a 
situation in which it must be done, and done rele- 
vantly to stimuli dependent on spatial and material 
relations. Regulation, then, is a fact prior to and 
independent of consciousness, and if it is extended 
when consciousness comes on the scene, as in action 
determined by experience, that does not necessarily 
mean that consciousness supplants and supersedes 
without any continuity the purely organic ground of 
regulation. It seems more likely that at a certain 

1 Driesch, Giford Lectures, ii. 336. 2 E.g. from Verworn. 


point the organism becomes aware of a feature of its 
own, which becomes at the same crisis more com- 
plete, than that its whole character, which, moreover, 
certainly persists for three-fourths of its processes, 1 
should be cut away about three-quarters up the 
scale and replaced by something totally different. 
Consciousness, we repeat, neither creates a high 
organism nor works it. It is rather the indispens- 
able means of reaping the final and supreme result 
of the organism's complex adaptations, 
conscious Hi. In part of the behaviour of human beings, 
meai^nV, 8 anc ^ a ^ so no doubt of the higher animals, externality 
not effect, anc j consciousness become plainly distinct and 

of physical r J 

process, divergent. Nervous process, we must believe, is 
movement in space (not that its differences need be 
purely spatial ; they are very probably to a great 
extent qualitative), while consciousness, even if 
some of its states and objects are extended, is in 
the main unspatial ; its elements penetrate one 
another in a way which defies assignment of 
distance and relative locality. 'All bodily move- 
ment and brain change is caused, we must believe, 
if there is to be any science, by bodily conditions. 
But again, consciousness is the only thing we 
recognise as the nature and substance of any act 
which we call our own. 

Now we have seen that interaction asks us to 
make consciousness at once material and not 
material, and in this way opens up an unlimited 
vista of inconceivable suggestion, while parallelism 
is not so much a positive theory as a precaution of 

1 For all forms of regulation, except restitution, persist, of course, 
in high organisms, below the level of action due to experience. 


Hence the only possible course, as it seems to 
me, is simply to accept conscious process as the 
essence of a certain kind of physical process, and as 
covered by its physical cost in the body's balance- 
sheet. In all probability, as we have seen, we have 
to accept an analogous principle of unity in the 
realms of life below consciousness. This unity and 
responsiveness of part to whole, as seen in organic 
" regulation," is a character, it seems, of or neces- 
sitated by organic matter ; and in the case of 
unconscious life, it seems impossible that it 
should be set out by itself as an additional effect, 
demanding a separate output of energy. There is 
no separate factor concerned that could be thus 
set out. 

Now consciousness, as we -read the relation, is a 
character of further increased sensitiveness and 
responsiveness on the same analogy. Take as an 
example the incoming sensation the feeling of the 
prick of a pin. Is this feeling, a sensation with a 
painful tone, an effect of the physical prick or not ? 
I should reply, " No ; not an effect but an inter- 
pretation/ 1 An effect is a continuation of a process 
into a further stage. The pin-prick sets up neural 
change, and ultimately some degree of motor 
stimulus. That is an effect. An interpretation is a 
going into, an appreciating, the nature of a process 
as it happens. It is an interpretation when we 
hear certain shocks as music, instead of regarding 
them, on physical evidence, as transmitted vibra- 
tions. Very possibly it may be a rule that there is 
more effect observable when a physical process 
finds interpretation ; because interpretation has 
something to do with the degree in which the 


process excites the nervous system. There may be 
more physical effect when no anaesthetic is used for 
an operation, than when it is used. But, all the 
same, an interpretation is not an effect ; it is not a 
new happening ; it is an appreciation of what is 

Is this mere words and evasion ? I cannot think 
so. It follows from our whole line of thought. The 
approach to the nature of mind has been for us, 
always on the basal conception of a centre of a 
world, an approach to a wider apprehensiveness and 
responsiveness. We thought of a brick just resting 
on another brick, of a brick in an arch or in a 
facade, of an element, one might add, in a crystal. 
We argued that the growth towards teleology was 
simply the growth towards individuality of the 
whole recognised by the centre. Of course there 
is a gap between external relation and conscious 
apprehension and response ; but, especially con- 
sidering the intermediate realm of mere life, it 
involves, from our point of view, no change of prin- 
ciple. On the hypothesis of interaction you destroy 
continuity by extracting the principle of unity, and 
then setting it, empty, to act ab extra ; it is a 
different thing when you keep it within the concrete 
to which it belongs. All that happens, on our view, 
is that when you come to matter which has been 
granted life or consciousness, its capacities of 
apprehension and response open up a new signific- 
ance and become the focus of a new kind of whole. 
Sensation and pain, it is submitted, are what the 
prick is when the apprehension of it is deepened ; 
they are no additional reaction, but the reaction as 
apprehended by a certain kind of system. They 


are what the effect on the sentient organism is like 
when you come to realise it. 1 

So with volition and with speculative thought. 
The difference of the brain process and the conscious 
process is given, when we take the one as spatial 
and the other as not. When this is accepted, the 
facts are truly given by saying, "We control our 
acts and ideas ; that is, the contents, habits, and 
reflexes which we are, and which in our nerve- 
change and brain process blend, inhibit, and enhance 
each other, correspondingly blend and inhibit and 
enhance each other in the unity a very partially 
realised unity, of course of our non-spatial thought. 
And in our awareness of this we feel and know 
what in the nervous process we do what the world 
of contents and habits, which is the self, generates 
by its total response." 

Much difficulty has been raised by the assump- 
tion that the two systems must be similar, a cell for 
a thought, a spatial coincidence for identity, 2 and the 
like. All we need is that their systematic action 
should be capable of corresponding, and this in 
general we can understand. 3 There is no reason for 
demanding point to point similarity between the two. 

1 The difficulty is here. If I prick my hand, there is presumably 
all the movement pressure, etc., which there would be if I pricked an 
indiarubbcr ball ; and then there is the sensation too. Is it not 
then an effect, and one unaccounted for ? I think not. I, my hand, 
can interpret the complex responses of the organism to the simple 
shock (p. 185). A movement needs no more energy because its 
meaning is seen. 

2 This has, no doubt, partly to do with a false theory of identity, 
which destroys its range and grasp, and makes it analogous to a 
spatial point. As we are constantly urging, for us the true type of 
identity is the system of a world. 

3 See p. 185, above, on meaning and purpose. Cf. Mitchell, 
Structure ami Growth of the Mind^ p. 480 ff. 


And there is a consideration, important in the 
theory of knowledge and will, which shows the 
value of accepting a correspondence between the 
nervous system and our self-determination. For 
the self is not wholly an affair of the distinctest 
consciousness. Its clear course of ideas, as we have 
constantly insisted, is only a light that breaks out 
over a huge organisation of adaptations, impulses, 
reflexes, peripheral sensitiveness of every kind and 
degree. We get a truer conception of the self, in 
many important and valuable ways, from thinking of 
the whole nervous system, and not merely of cortical 
process, as corresponding to what we are, than by 
merely following the central course of our clearest 
purposes and reflections and intensest emotions. 
Here is one fundamental point, for example, not 
generally recognised. We have been taught that 
the will is good or bad apart from failure or success, 
i.e. if there is an idea passing into realisation, in 
which a large component is of a type we generally 
approve, the detailed result, some would say as 
intended, and nearly all would say as achieved, 
makes no difference to its value. But this cannot 
really be so. If an idea cannot secure its own 
adequate realisation, it is " not ideal enough." It 
has not enough conformity with the environment ; 
it does not really contain as much of the secret of 
coherence or perfection as it professes to contain. 
I take it that a glance at the nervous system shows 
us this incontrovertibly. A phase of consciousness, 
as I gather, corresponds to a set of co-ordinations 
in which ultimately the whole nervous system is or 
may be engaged. What we can think depends 
largely both on our receptiveness and on our active 


dispositions (psychical or physical), and these need 
not appear as such and distinctly in the focus of our 
thinking. All the same, our general ideas will be 
truncated, or, rather aborted, if they do not find 
copious and largely organised active dispositions to 
fit their content to corresponding detail, and carry it 
out adequately into the real world. What we can 
will is reacted upon by what we can do. This is 
why in the beginning we do not know how to will 
the good, and have to learn it with pain and labour, 
by forming habits adequate in detail to its content 
as the concrete unity of our world. 

A man wishes, let us say, as purely as he 
knows how to wish, to promote religion among 
his neighbours. But he has no habits or formed 
dispositions of self -adaptation, self- repression, 
sympathy, beneficence, penetrative imagination. 
This defect reacts on his religious ideas them- 
selves. He cannot promote them, because they 
are imperfect ; but also they are imperfect 
because he has no trained capacities adequate to 
promoting them. The religious idea is not filled in 
and made to bridge the gap between abstraction and 
realisation. The cortical process (should we not be 
justified in saying ?) is in such a case starved and 
aborted by the failure to find habitual systems and 
dispositions, whether cortically or subcortically 
seated, which can meet and amplify and enrich its 
content with theirs. It has not at its disposal either 
extended areas of cortical excitement or complex 
systems of motor activity ; and those which it can 
dispose of, being insufficiently co-ordinated lines of 
action and expression, are immediately and continu- 
ally being checked by failure, and consequently 


bring no peripheral reinforcement to the idea. The 
same would be true, reading suggestion for realisa- 
tion, of defective theoretical thinking. Now such 
defects, or their countervailing merits,tare in a great 
degree not factors within consciousness in our 
explicit volitions and trains of thought. But they 
affect it and make it other than it would be if the 
whole nervous organisation were different. 

In a word, our whole world is at work in every 
remodelling of itself; 1 and if we admit that its 
habitual and automatic elements help to mould our 
thinking and our will, we need not scruple to admit 
that the formed mechanism of the brain is our 
instrument throughout. Consciousness, as we have 
maintained throughout, is not an epiphenomenon, if 
that mean something extraneous and otiose, but it 
is a supervenient perfection ; it is plainly and unmis- 
takably so. It comes when the individuality of 
worlds has reached such a pitch of comprehensive- 
ness and their self-direction is faced with such 
problems of apprehensiveness, that to be an object 
of experience no longer does justice to their value. 

1 Could there be a more suggestive description of the unity 
of mind than the following account of the nervous system ? 
"(The student) should not forget the constant work that has 
to be done by the nervous system, and especially how action at 
every part of the whole is affected by action at any and every part. 
To work, to carry out its function, is necessary to the health of a 
neurone ; efferent neurones have to maintain the tonus of muscles ; 
in order to do this they require their own stimulation by afferent 
neurones ; and the cortex, besides its conscious functions, regulates 
the nutrition of the whole body. Experiments in reflex action, and 
other facts concerning the summation of stimuli, show that the whole 
system is somehow affected by stimulation at any part. All parts of 
the nervous system hold each other in mutual tension, and the 
passage of an impulse, afferent or efferent, is better represented as a 
disturbance of equilibrium than as a transmission of energy " (Broad- 
bent, Brain, xxvi. 324-5, cited by Mitchell, p. 452). 


Suppose a mountain had a mind a mind, according 
to all analogy, lower than that of an oyster what 
could it know of its own worth ? That would still 
remain for the artist and the alpine walker to appre- 
ciate. It is not meant that the value to be realised 
evokes by a miracle the means of realising it. But 
we shall see reason to conclude that the degree of 
individuality, which, on the one side, is the evolu- 
tionary demand that self- direction, hitherto uncon- 
scious or associative, shall become explicit and freely 
logical, is, on the other side, the measure of value. 

This, then, is our conclusion in principle. The 
difference between bodily change and mental action 
cannot be explained away, but, while accepting it, 
we have no right to make capital of it in the way of 
multiplying differences praeter necessitatem. In 
saying that body is spatial and mind not spatial we 
have said in effect that body is a causal system and 
mind a logical one. But body is a causal system 
long disciplined and subordinated to a unitary self- 
maintenance, and it has within it, clearly and obvi- 
ously, the bases of all the motives and stimuli 
which enter into mind. I believe we have just to 
accept the action and expression of a logical system 
through such a physical one. If it follows that 
matter is not confined to physico-chemical properties 
we should accept the conclusion. But it cannot 
follow that the principle of Uniformity, rightly 
understood, and of conservation of energy, are in- 
applicable to it. There is no ground for contending 
aggressively that rational prediction is inapplicable 
to its organic forms. We must, indeed, remember 
that bare calculation will give neither quality nor 
meaning, and significant prediction would need both. 


But there is nothing in this to cause the foes of in- 
telligence to triumph. In principle all intelligence 
is one, and its logic is the very essence of creative 
and inventive process. Therefore a greater intelli- 
gence may include a lesser, and in regard to the 
main problems and purposes of a lifetime, still in the 
future, not infrequently does so, and if all intelli- 
gences did not in this way " cover " one another to 
some extent, there could be no spiritual world, and 
no creative activity, implying co-operation, in the 
universe. To suppose that this unity involves an 
interference with freedom and initiative is totally to 
misapprehend the nature of originality. 

In a future lecture we will draw out the nature 
of freedom and initiative as an embodiment of that 
self -directing logical process, which is the true 
meaning and the actual working of our minds, 
through the instrumentality of our organised 
nervous system. 


Cf. Taylor's Metaphysics, p. 289 : " Nor again have we 
any experimental means of proving that those quantities 
(mass and energy) are more than approximately con- 
stant," and references there cited. Add Ward, Natural- 
ism> ii. 59, 82-4, where he explains but rejects the 
notion of a mechanical system guided by mind with no 
expenditure, or an inappreciable expenditure, of energy, 
and so far his view seems just and consistent. But it is 
clear from p. 84 and from his attitude throughout, that, 
though for him a mechanical theory is to be rejected in 
principle, yet in effect what we are to look for is again 
an inappreciable interference ab extra with the laws of 


motion. It is inert mass plus direction, which, on the 
whole, he has in mind, although a different ideal some- 
times suggests itself to him. It is this separation of the 
whole frofti the guiding element which the view of the 
text regards as a survival in principle of the notion of 
matter plus miracle the attitude of common external 
teleology. The " plan " is brought to the material ; is 
not in it or elicited from it. The same discontinuity is 
startlingly apparent in M. Bergson's views, and here, 
again, unites itself with the inappreciable quantity. I cite 
a characteristic passage (j-Lvolution creatrice, p. 125): " Sup- 
posons, comme nous le faisions entrevoir dans le prc6dent 
chapitre, qu'il y ait au fond de la vie un effort pour 
greffer, sur la ncessit des forces physiques, la plus 
grande somme possible d'inddtermination. Get effort ne 
peut aboutir 4 crer de I'&iergie, ou, s'il en crte, la quantite 
crete riappartient pas a Fordre de grandeur sur lequel out 
prise nos sens et nos instruments de mesure, notre experience 
et notre science [italics mine]. . . . Lui-meme [I'effort] ne 
possfede que ce pouvoir de dclancher. Mais le travail 
de dclanchement, quoique toujours le meme et toujours 
plus faible que n'importe quelle quantity donn6e, sera 
d'autant plus efficace qu'il fera tomber de plus haut un 
poids plus lourd, ou, en d'autres termes, que la somme 
d'nergie potentielle accumulde et disponible sera plus 

So Schiller, Humanism, according to M'Dougall's 
Social Psychology, p. 234, suggests the idea of a ball 
balanced in unstable equilibrium on the top of a high 
divide, disturbed by a minimal force. I have not been 
able to find the passage referred to. 

All these ideas seem to show the radical defect at 
which my argument is aimed ; the choosing unit or 
element is not a system of the contents dealt with by 
choice. Mind and its world, choice and action, become 
utterly discontinuous. For a hint of a better view cf. 
Bergson, Donndes, p. 135. (The criticism of taking direc- 
tions of action as things which await our choice.) 

Driesch's form of vitalism exhibits all these difficulties 
in the relation of " mechanical " to " natural " and 


11 psychical " operation. By " mechanical " operation he 
means the production of an extensive manifold by a pre- 
viously existing extensive manifold, involving a single and 
external cause correlative to every element g in 'the effect. 
No such extensive manifold, no arrangement of parts in 
the three dimensions of space, is capable, in his view, of 
producing the results which are observed in the " regula- 
tion " characteristic of organic life, by which, for example, 
a typical form may be developed out of the set of elements 
which normally produce it, though rearranged at random 
in space, or halved in number. Life, then, is not for him 
tf mechanically " explicable, and he proclaims himself a 

Per contra the entity, the ,r, which he takes to repre- 
sent the interests of the normal organic whole, and to 
which he gives the name of Entelechy, is for him a purely 
natural element. It is never identical with consciousness, 
and in its purely organic forms it is not even accompanied 
by consciousness. It is conceived by him as an intensive 
manifold, revealed only in its operation. It exercises no 
energy, but has a power of u regulation " through post- 
poning some to others of the reactions possible within the 
organism, and setting free those which it has itself sus- 
pended or postponed. I cannot offer a scientific criticism 
of these ideas, but they seem on the surtace, though nomi- 
nally excluding the ascription of physical energy to con- 
sciousness, very analogous to those which make mind 
control body by the exercise of an inappreciable amount 
of force, which seems to mean, by exercising force and yet 
not exercising it. 

But in the facts which sustain the result, simply taken, 
we can hardly help finding a "natural" determination 
referable to the characteristics of certain material com- 
binations, even if the special type of explanatory theory 
above defined as u mechanical " is rightly excluded. The 
determination is described as thoroughly univocal ; con- 
sciousness is not concerned in it ; it is characteristically 
relevant and differential (i.e. logically uniform) over an 
immense area of organic being. The elaborate proofs 
that it cannot be mechanical are themselves in every case 


proofs of very precise and relevant reactions to the varia- 
tions of external stimuli. The very meaning of his equi- 
potential system is that it is composed of elements each 
of which can do whatever its place in the system, however 
changed by disturbance, may demand in the interests of 
the normal form. One way or other, it has to be admitted 
that these powers are exercised not only apart from con- 
sciousness but in the closest concomitant variation with 
matter. If this is true it is unimportant that there is no 
one living substance (Driesch, ii. 246). Is it not really 
special pleading, a verbal distinction due ultimately to 
exaggerating the homogeneousness of physical causation, 
when such artificial hypotheses are resorted to in order to 
distinguish responses which cannot but be called natural, 
in toto and in principle from the qualitative reactions of 
the material world ? 

In Driesch's view of the psychical we see the relation 
yet more clearly. Even in life, without reference to 
mind, he makes a decided attempt to separate the 
" entelechy " from the material whole, to treat it as inter- 
fering ab extra like an artist with his material, even to 
think of it as a possible object of systematic classification 
on a priori grounds, apart from moulding by the environ- 
ment. The universal is made a particular, operative 
among the particulars of spatial form, and its immanence 
in the environment, in the world, is neglected. 

When we come, in Driesch's theory, to the Entelechy 
or Psychoid (as it may then be called) at the level of in- 
telligence, the discontinuities inherent in all the guidance 
theories become glaringly prominent. It is admitted that 
the type of hypothesis we are dealing with is that (familiar 
from Lotze 1 ) according to which there is a something 
that plays on the brain as a piano-player on a piano. 
Or, by a variation of the metaphor, the brain is repre- 
sented as " a sort of warehouse, a place of storing ; . . . 
it possesses the faculty of storing engrammata. But it 
can only store engrammata in the sense of given com- 
binations of given elements, and therefore nothing but 

1 Metaphysics^ sect. 296. There must be a better reference, but 
I cannot recall it. Driesch, Gifford Lectures^ ii. 97. 


the psychical phenomena of simple recognition and of 
association by contiguity are immediately related to cere- 
bral processes the faculty of rearranging, nay, even the 
faculty of association by identity and contrast, has no 
relationship with any performance of physico-chemical 
agents whatever." " Ideas," again, " have real cerebral 
process as their starting point," but judgment has not. 
Now, if we hold what I take to be plainly true, that all 
association is impure judgment "marrying only universals," 
and that ideas are strictly elements in judgment, we are 
bound to condemn these discontinuities as contrary to 
fundamental truth in logic and psychology (see Driesch, 
Gifford Lectures, ii. 97 ff.). Bergson appears to me to 
make an equally impossible dissociation between con- 
templative and motor memory, treating the former as 
corresponding to differences, and being wholly uncon- 
nected with brain ; the latter as corresponding to 
identities, and being dependent upon it (Mattire, p. 169). 
The whole theory of the relation between mind and brain, 
critical no less than traditional, seems to suffer from a 
want of freedom from an assumption that if matter is 
the instrument of mind we must somehow find material 
structure repeated in the structure of mind. 

But in thinking thus, we are really doing just what, as 
critics of materialism, we intend t& avoid. We are 
limiting our theory of mind to our theory of matter, and 
then, in order to escape from our limitation, cutting the 
manifestation of mind in two. Cf. Mitchell, p. 43. 



Can we take the relations of neural process to conscious 
process a little more into detail, comparing the character 
of the two with respect to mechanism and logic, and 
estimate the need and meaning of postulating in the 
account of consciousness a single immaterial being, or 


i. We must, of course, beware of limiting the power of A Logical 
mind by inference from our notions of neural process. The ^Through 
object of the present remarks is in the other direction. aCausai 
We have seen that a full view of the nervous system tends adapted 
actually to intensify our conception of the concreteness, toit - 
and of the spiritual value of the concreteness, of the 
mental life. And now it seems possible to suggest how 
neural process must fall short of consciousness, and how 
nevertheless it may be a basis and instrument of mind, 
without placing any invidious limitation upon the latter. 

We have endeavoured throughout, in dealing with 
body and mind, to substitute the idea of a logical whole, 
in the widest sense of the term, for that of teleological 
process in the sense of something mainly concerned with 
temporal transition from point to point to replace a line 
by a system. This conception seemed to give a new 
value and reality to the unity of body and mind. We 
can see how it is natural and likely that, to use the most 
general and modest language, there is always a some- 
thing in body to correspond to anything that there may be 
in mind. The notion of a system with all its parts in a 
state of reciprocal tension takes us some way towards 
a logical unity. 

In thinking, then, of the correspondence between 
physical and mental movements and elements, we must 
dismiss, it would seem, some of the cruder difficulties. 

To begin with the difference between causation and 
logical or teleological determination. All causation, as 
we have seen throughout, is in a fundamental sense 
logical, and thus, in the larger meaning of the term, 
teleological. It only falls short of agreement with what 
we take to be reasonable procedure in so far as special 
causal processes may only take account of a limited set 
of factors ; and we have no guarantee in any given case 
that those will be included which are important or 
interesting to us. But causation embodied in a special 
machine may follow lines which are even in our sense 
reasonable, if the machine has been made to represent 
our interests. There can be, for example, as we all know, 
a logical machine ; and the apparatuses which are used in 



experiment or observation to augment accuracy or correct 
error, are, as I have pointed out elsewhere, much more 
concretely and effectively logical than the so - called 
logical machines. 1 

Now we must remember that the nervous system is a 
machine, or rather a shopful of machines, built up by 
adaptive processes however we may construe their 
nature primarily to direct our bodily movements in the 
interest of the preservation of the species ; secondarily 
and consequentially (secondarily, I mean, from a bio- 
logical point of view) to represent and to realise our 
predominant interests and desires. I include among these 
the disinterested interests, which are the most char- 
acteristic, and which emerge from and yet include the 
others in a way not difficult to understand. 2 We 
shall be helped and not hindered by frankly assuming 
that the brain like many other organs seems as if it had 
been meant to do one thing, and then had come to be 
used for something quite different. This, I suppose, 
is almost a law of the evolution of organs, and is really a 
useful clue in estimating the brain's relations to the 
guidance of movement and to activities of a theoretic 

Hence if our interests and aims are embodied in the 
nervous system, predominating in its organised structure 
in proportion as they predominate in our lives and is it 
not practically plain that this must be the case ? I can 
see no possible reason why the output of this physical 
system should not be logical, allowing for intensity and 
complexity of excitement as well as for its extent, and for 
coherence, or presence and absence of reciprocal inhibition ; 
and why, therefore, it should not act as the engine of will, 
thought, and feeling. It has been said that it amounts 
to a miracle 3 if physical movement and consciousness are 
simply concomitant. Well ; it does, and it does not. In 
a sense everything is a miracle ; all we can do is to 

1 Knowledge and Reality, p. 327. 

2 See, on the plot of Aristotle's Ethics, " The Perfecting of the 
Soul," Appendix II. to Lect. X. 

3 Stout, Manual^ introd. iii. 


require the miracle to be self-consistent and consistent 
with all else. And, after all, the apparent dualism between 
matter and consciousness is an arrangement which falls 
within consciousness ; though we hold it only fair play 
to disregard thij general sine qua non when we are study- 
ing and comparing the detailed content of experience. 
But the correspondence of psyche (life-mind) and body 
from the amoeba up to the nervous system of man is a 
very extensive, highly differentiated, and thoroughly self- 
consistent miracle ; and if the nexus is impeached as 
illusory it may fairly claim the benefit of the saying, 
"Whom God deceives, he is well deceived." The corre- 
spondence would not practically cover a much wider 
area if we were to succeed in eliciting life from inorganic 
matter. It would be then much as it is now ; some 
material arrangements, by comparison extraordinarily 
simple, though in themselves no doubt exceedingly com- 
plex, are able to " produce " with inevitable certainty a 
minimum of soul. And if soul follows matter, corre- 
sponding to all its degrees from the amoeba perhaps 
from the crystal l to man's nervous system, this enormous 
world of detailed and graduated correspondence seems 
enough to supply the required rational continuity as 
between two stages of a process fundamentally identical. 
I refer again to the*example of material undulations and 
musical tones. We bridge this gap without hesitation ; 
yet though not so deep as the other it is quite as 

It seems then that there is no necessary opposition of 
principle between the nervous system reacting to stimuli 
always in view of its acquired pre-arrangements, thus 
giving rise to just those movements which its meaning, 
our consciousness, demands, and the structure of con- 
sciousness as by its inherent logic demanding these 
movements, or in the same way those other neural 
changes which continue its own progression. Difficulties 
of this type are founded on misapprehension. Mind ti 

ii. Can we penetrate further into the meaning of the ^"spj 
difference between the physical process and the conscious- unity o 

body ir 
1 See Lehmann on Liquid Crystals, Nature^ Jan. 7, 1909. action. 


ness which it subserves ? Our very language regarding 
the two admits an enormous difference between them ; 
and it is a difference, it would seem, that must carry us 
further. We assume that the neural procpss must be 
accepted as a movement in space or at most as a qualitative 
change of spatial objects of consciousness. Consciousness, 
on the other hand, is what can have objects, and is not 
spatial We have said enough of the prima facie miracle 
that each should be tied to the other at all. Now the 
question is what their difference involves. 

A hint for discussion might be taken from M. Bergson's 
conception of the brain as the pointe acMe of the mind. 1 
There is a brain state, he allows, for every psychical state. 
But the brain-movement includes only the tendency to 
action (action naissante), which the psychical movement 
involves. Brain is the point (and edge?) of the knife- 
blade, which as a whole is the mind. The two are not 
co-extensive, but the former is in play wherever the latter 
is effective. 

And some such relation seems actually given in the 
obvious differences. The brain movements, as spatial 
objects, cannot be a unity in the sense in which conscious- 
ness is a unity. We have rejected all idea of represent- 
ing identity as it is for consciousness by spatial coincidence 
in the brain. The excitement of an area of brain is 
prima facie matter in a certain state, with every point 
distinct from every other. The thought to which it corre- 
sponds has its factors distinguishable but not separable. 
Take our previous instance, meaning and purpose. In these 
cases there seem to be certain material systems, excitable 
or excited, so as to awaken, reinforce, or inhibit, each 
other's excitement. But it is impossible, one would say, 
that the excitements of physical systems could blend and 
qualify one another as do factors in a conscious whole. In 
brain process, the correlate of the sound of^ a word and of 
its meaning must be a spatial system ; and the correlate 
of the purpose cannot be coloured and penetrated by 

1 Evolution crtatrice^ p. 285. Mr. M'DougaPs distinction 
between psycho-neural and psycho-physical parallelism seems to point 
in the same direction. 


the nature of the cooperant system in space (p. 186) 
as the purpose is in mind. And it seems to follow 
that there is in consciousness a something more, an actual 
fusion and mterpenetration of contents, which could not 
be conceived as embodied in the physical movement. 
What corresponds to an individualised conception," Socrates 
a mortal man," cannot be at once, like the conception, 
singular and universal ; in a word, within the physical 
world identity and diversity can only be symbolised and 
not realised in their own nature. It is as if the brain 
processes must have in them the materials of the conscious 
structure, but only in the rough ; as if the being of the 
real system, the interpenetrating reciprocal qualifications, 
the unitary organisation of contents, can only be symbolised 
by the spatial process, and, in its real nature, is included 
in the miracle which we have agreed to admit, and cannot 
really be given in the physical connections. And yet 
these physical connections carry out this is a simple 
fact the work which the other structure demands, and 
may be the basis, the substructure of the true solidarity 
which belongs to it alone. 1 

The relation might be illustrated by that of our logical 
inference to the operations of the logical machine. As 
Mr. Bradley has pojnted out, 2 the machine can hardly be 
said to draw a conclusion. It conducts certain combinations 
and carries out certain eliminations, but it is we who take 
the result as the conclusion of an inference. The universal 
nexus, the thread of inference, is indeed in a sense real 
and a fact, 3 but it hardly is together as a universal except 
when made one with the conation of a mind. Something 
of this kind might be the case as between mind and 
nervous system. Neural process, we might say, gives the 
physical response or the course of brain change ; but only 

1 It is important, and in some degree diminishes the magic of the 
matter, that psychical solidarity is so very imperfect as it is, and that 
its imperfection largely corresponds, I suppose, to physical non- 
organisation. The suggestion is one of a struggle towards unity, in 
which brain plays an indispensable part. 

2 Principles of Logic, p. 357. 

3 Alexander, Arist. Proceedings, 1908. 


mind reads these off as elements in its unitary system, 
that is to say, as in psychological and logical union with 
each other. The important point is not to confuse the 
discontinuity between brain change and mind 'change with 
a supposed discontinuity between the parts of mind 
change. (See Appendix I.) 

If we take the line just indicated, two difficulties meet 
us. That which we say does the work has no inkling of 
the initiation which it carries out. Not merely, it has 
been said of a kindred view, has no man on this hypothesis 
ever acted freely, but no man has ever acted at all. 1 And 
why should consciousness have been evolved, if it was not 
a means of directing behaviour superior in practice to 
unconscious responses, and therefore, a fortiori at any 
rate, a means of directing behaviour ? 

On this a. If we pay attention, as is surely right, mainly to 

Ic^is^f ^ e main structure of brain and mind, there can be little 

the man? doubt or difficulty. Here it is quite plain that the 

hiTsystem nervous system 2 is the engine of the mind ; its leading 

responds, and predominating systems correspond to the mind's 

raachfne. hlS leading and predominating systems ; its responses are 

determined by a whole which, in as far as we are awake 

to its working, is our mind par excellence ; though really 

to describe our mind completely we Bought to include a 

good deal to which at any given moment we are not 

awake. 3 The difficulty arises, like so many difficulties 

in philosophy, from being desirous not merely to legislate 

for hard cases, but to make hard cases the sole basis of 

legislation. We will deny the obvious facts in order to 

conceive it possible that the mind shall be able to upset 

its own system ; and so we go astray after an idea of 

guidance ab extra ; not the guidance of a self-directing 

whole, a world which remodels itself; but a guidance 

which exercises upon its processes interferences of minimal 

and so inappreciable magnitude. But all this is evasion 

in the interest of preconceived theory. Take a central 

1 Stout, Manual, Lc. 

2 I prefer this expression to the brain, because of the considera- 
tions stated on p. 202 above. 

8 See p. 200 above. 


and unmistakable case of will, when the mind as a whole 
as near as possible, remodels its life as a whole as near as 
possible, in a volition extending perhaps over months 
or years. Here I hold it to be plain that no inappreciable 
exertion through any kind of steering gear will meet the 
case. It is not a case of a rudder at all ; the direction is 
due to the comparative working of the propellers. To 
conceive it otherwise introduces, without any theoretical 
gain, an unintelligible breach of continuity. You are 
supposed to realise an idea not because of its logical 
character, its power to find alliances, and to disarm 
opponents in the mental structure, but because of a 
miraculous finger placed for no conceivable reason (for 
every conceivable reason is ex hypothesi ruled out of court) 
on the levers of the mind. But a system which is to be 
free must mould itself out of its own organisation of con- 
tent, or its activity cannot be self-directed. For this the 
nervous system as we understand it is the appropriate 
engine. What would we have? An arrangement of 
psychical material acting straight on external things by a 
mere thought or feeling ? It might be answered that is 
just what we have. We may, if we like, insist that our 
body is of psychical material an " image " as M. Bergson 
says. 1 The objector's difficulty does not lie there, but in 
the systematic fixity and partial unconsciousness of the 
acquired connections. If our psychical system is to have 
these characters 2 it becomes partly dissociated, and so 
material or external. Yet if not, our whole conception 
of an acquired conformity with and mastery of the 
environment, of a vast machinery of response, leading up 
but gradually to a vision of significance, goes by the board. 
We should no longer see any reason why God and the 
Absolute should not be as adequately revealed in the 
amoeba as in civilised man. It is further worth noting 
that the brain is the less in need of a steering gear outside 
it, as " entelechy " or " psychoid," because in a remarkable 

1 Cf. Varisco, / Massimi Problem^ for whom all bodies are 
"sensibles," though when not "sensed," outside the unity of any subject. 

2 They are, in fact, precisely what, if we take body as psychical, 
it does have. 


sense it is itself a specialised machine for not merely 
steering, but determining the direction to be steered, in 
contrast with merely transmitting impulses to the large 
scale machine the body. What I refer to -is the fact 
that the brain receives, modifies, and organises all sorts of 
impulses which are never allowed to try their isolated 
effects against each other on the big machine. What 
reaches the big machine has already competed with and 
been tried out and organised by myriads of adaptations 
and arrangements in the interest of the whole organism, 
connecting it with a countless incoming of stimuli and 
store of habits. An impulse to stop walking does not, as 
a rule, conflict in the leg-muscles with the impulse to go 
on. They come to terms previously in the brain, with all 
their allies on either side. Thus in its very nature it 
is prepared to act by logic and not by brute force. 
Mind is ft. How should it come to pass that finite conscious- 

seif-direc- ness should be evolved, if not as a superior means, and 
tion, but therefore, a fortiori^ as certainly at least a means, of 
directing bodily movement ? Here we must recall the 

of sense of fundamental fact of evolution, that organs, whose history 
looks as if they had been meant exclusively for one 
function, are constantly being re-adapted so as to do 
something else. The nervous system, when its history 
is considered, certainly looks as if it hafi only been meant 
to conduct external stimuli to the machinery of physical 
response. 1 But when it has to become an instrument for 
dealing with stimuli from distant objects, with deferred 
responses, with possibilities, with the behaviour of other 
systems on the same footing as itself, then the fact of self- 
direction, common to all material things, 2 passes, in view 
of the storage of experience and capacities, into a sense of 
centrality and self-value; and the microcosm, thus focused, 
becomes aware of its own self-direction. It awakens to a 

1 This is M. Bergson's strong point, and I suppose has much to 
do with the modern disparagement of so-called Intellectualism. 

2 Or, if this is denied, at least to unconscious organisms. But it 
seems ridiculous to deny that the reactions which have made the 
terrestrial globe habitable are self-directed, or to maintain that, say, 
the participation of Diatoms in the formation of chalk-beds has intro- 
duced into them a new principle of direction. 


sense of its own meaning, because now it has a meaning 
which could not be represented through its being an 
object for another consciousness. 

But why* it may be asked, should such a meaning be 
confined to high organisms ? Why should not a mountain 
or the globe itself have such a meaning? How much 
they must have gone through ; how much they might 
tell, if they had memory and could give utterance ? All 
we can say is, that according to all analogy, full conscious- 
ness seems reserved for the high organisms par excellence ; 
and its condition, no doubt, is mobility. As we suggested 
above, if a mountain had consciousness, it would, accord- 
ing to all analogy, be nothing to compare with the con- 
sciousness which we have of a mountain, and, therefore, 
there seems the less reason why it should have conscious- 
ness at all. It is mobility which demands the great and 
varied store of adaptations and experiences, and which, 
by the demand for a precise and flexible adjustment to 
the environment, prepares the way for the awareness in 
which the environment represents itself. The conditions 
of awareness were very probably first awakened by 
mobility, but it is contrary to all principles of evolution 
to infer from this that to control mobility is its final 

But surely, it will be urged, it is an absurdity to say 
that the system would work as well if the awareness were 
unawakened, if pain had no deterrent effect, and if the 
meaning of books did not govern their composition and 

Here we must insist that there is an unwarranted 
assumption. We do not know that such a system as we 
possess could be developed beyond a certain level with- 
out an awareness being awakened. 1 Our point has been 
that the principle of self-direction has been there through- 
out, and that in a whole of a certain representative 
capacity it must necessarily awaken to the value of its 

1 See above on the effect of an operation v/ith and without 
anaesthetics. The " more " of physical effect and of feeling go 
together, and we incline to say this is because we feel more. But 
it may be because the nervous shock is more widely transmitted. 


world. The system of the finite universe, we might say, 
is one of vicarious representation. Externality is joined 
to the absolute through conscious centres. Consciousness 
is the climax of direction, but the absolute Condition of 
all sense of value. 

Sou i iii. If the mind transcends the neural process in the 

hef S n The wa ^ su SS estec ^ above would it not be better to postulate 
unity of a soul as the substratum, and to call it a single immaterial 

finite mind U 1 

is an ideal, 

not a fact. It is true that we do not want to make mind an 
adjective of body. It is, according to the view here 
advocated, 2 a fuller unity, more completely differentiated, 
more thoroughly integrated. On the other hand, an im- 
material being, other than and, so to speak, behind or 
below the uniting consciousness or experience, seems to 
be unintelligibly framed on the analogy of a material 
thing. 3 It takes us back into all the difficulties of the 
persistent soul-substance, from which Kant's criticism of 
rational psychology had set us free. All we desire, and 
all we logically need, is to take mind or soul for what it 
is a centre or unity of experience, in connection with a 
certain material arrangement, which has every appearance 
of being the condition of its special and distinctive organ- 
isation, and of its peculiar adaptation f to the environment. 
If we ask, as an able writer has asked, why should mind 
have a body ; 4 the answer seems to be, as hinted above, 6 
" to store up and adapt the necessary resources for self- 
maintenance as a distinctive world." And as we said, 
supposing the same task set to psychical characters, they 
would, in order to achieve it, have to throw off much of 
their psychical quality. They would have to be stored 
up in the form of relatively fixed and orderly combina- 
tions, embodying the ways in which, for the distinctive 

1 M'Dougal, Physiological Psychology ^ p. 168. 

2 Cf. Psychology of Moral Self, p. 124. The passage referred 
to does not, as has been alleged by critics, maintain psycho-physical 
parallelism in the received sense. Like the present work, it treats 
mind as the more complete and the superior system. 

s Cf. Mitchell, p. i6ff. 

4 Strong, Why Mind has a Body. 

5 Page 215. 


world in question, an appropriate way of being together 
had created itself. A being could not consist of mere 
momentary response and adaptation ; it must bring along 
with it a sftiff to give the adaptation content and value. 1 

And it would be a futile dualism to argue that the 
unity of experience, and its types of interconnection, are 
to come in from out of doors from an immaterial being 
and organise or crystallise a chaos of content. This is 
all upside down. The world comes first ; it works towards 
finding a centre, and in this working the types of our 
thinking and experience arise. So far from the centre 
being given, in finite experiences it is only an ideal never 
to be completely realised. A spiritual nucleus, a given 
unitary being, does not help us at all. After postulating 
it, either in all living matter or at some arbitrary stage of 
its development, we should have to explain away by im- 
pediments to its self-assertion appearances which it is far 
simpler to treat as degrees of imperfection in the forma- 
tion of finite centres of experience. Finite consciousness 
and the finite self come late, on the top of immense stores 
of unconscious mechanism and adaptation, which are to 
all appearance its pre-condition. It is not a datum from 
the beginning ; it is a light and a revelation which comes 
only when it is prepared for and demanded, and in finite 
experience very unequally and imperfectly. The standing 
miracle lies in its difference from brain. The duty of 
rational theory, with this as with all the miracles of ex- 
perience, is to interpret its plain character with as little 
intrusion as possible of gratuitous factors. Mind, so far 
as it can be in space, is nervous system ; nervous system, 
focussed in the nisus towards unity, which a standing 
miracle associates with it, is finite mind. You cannot say 
that the one acts and not the other. There is nothing 
no part nor point in the one that is not in the other. 

1 Would it be argued that the denial of this precisely gives the 
definition of a spiritual being, as having no stores or acquisitions 
relatively inert, but being all always in flaming activity through and 
through ? But such would not be a finite spiritual being. It would 
be all always in contact and continuity, and could experience no 


Mind, we have suggested, is the interpretation of nervous 
system ; but a false tradition inclines us to treat the in- 
terpretation as a gloss, and the letter as the reality. If 
we discard this false tradition, and also remenflber that in 
comparing mind to an interpretation we are comparing it 
to a part of its own activity, the suggestion takes us 
perhaps as far as we can get. Mind is the meaning of 
externality, which under certain conditions concentrates 
in a new focus of meaning, which is a new finite mind. 
When we speak of the making of souls, we mean nothing 
more than the moulding and relative perfecting of minds. 



WE have seen that Finite Consciousnesses cannot be Finite 
the ultimate directors or constituents of the universe. 
They and their subjective teleology are appearances is*- 1 1 
at a certain stage ; they rest on arrangements below ^u 
them ; they indicate in every feature fuller forms of verse? 
totality above them. Finite consciousness, whether 
animal or human, did not make its body, and does 
not set the greater purposes to its world. Some- 
thing greater and more inclusive than itself both 
operates through*it and reveals itself to it. 

i. Is finite consciousness, then, an accident in a The 
universe of alien nature ? Is self-consciousness, 1 the 
fullest form of consciousness which we experience, 
born of a defect, and killed by its removal ? Or 
may we look to find in this completest phase of 
finite experience something which furnishes a clue 
to the typical structure of reality something which 
is not annihilated but rather enhanced by the transi- 

1 I mean by self-consciousness the recognition of self in other as 
experienced in cognition, practice, the aesthetic attitude, and religion. 
Its essence is not the perception of the whole self as an object by 
itself as a subject (Appearance, 2nd ed., p. in), but the recognition 
in externality of a counterpart, whether discordant or harmonious, 
with its own principle* 



tion of discord into responsiveness and of the 
hostile not-self into the other of the self? 

The question is, in other words, whether self- 
hood runs parallel with Individuality, or whether 
the former experience must cease when the latter is 
at a maximum ? The question is not one necessarily 
of ultimate importance. There might be experiences 
in the highest individuality which would rightly 
supersede the experience of self-hood. But yet, if 
we can remove a certain misapprehension which 
stands in the way, we shall have opened the path 
to a deeper conception of reality, framed at least on 
the analogy of self-consciousness. 

Now in finite experience that to which the uni- 
versal opposes itself in its unceasing effort to become 
fully individual, that in overcoming which the self 
feels itself relatively one and self-complete, is prima 
facie difference in the form of what is alien or 
hostile ; a resistant not-self in face of which we are 
ignorant and weak and never, as finite beings, 
become absolutely triumphant ancjl at home. And 
it is essential to the basis of our account of Indi- 
viduality to understand whether this not-self is 
something which depends on and indicates imper- 
fection, or something which belongs to the essential 
structure of the real. 1 Might we, for example, 
conceive of individuality as perfecting itself as a 
cosmos and a self-in-otherness, in proportion as the 
irresponsiveness, or even hostility, which for us is 
one great mark of the other or the different, is being 
overcome ? 

1 A very just illustration of this problem and of the general lines 
of its solution is to be found in the aesthetic experience of the " sub- 
lime " (see A. C. Bradley, Oxford Lectures on Poetry). 


One obvious view rests wholly on the discordance 
of the not-self, and consequently holds that self- 
hood is confined to imperfect being, and vanishes 
in so far a3 the hostile not-self is overcome. This 
view perilously resembles, though it is not one with, 
the view for which all consciousness is a disease 
and a defect. It is facile, but dangerous, simply to 
drop the higher characters of experience when we 
endeavour to conceive the absolute. It is a more 
trustworthy plan to indicate, if possible, the line of 
their transmutation. And indeed I notice that the 
responsive or concordant not-self makes its appear- 
ance within the same set of speculations, though 
disregarded in their result. It seems, then, an error 
to neglect this significant feature in treating of the 
ultimate nature to which the individual can aspire. 
In a word, is discordance the only otherness, and is 
otherness, therefore, ultimately unreal ? Is it not 
the case at bottom that discordance itself rests upon 
the claim and possibility of harmony ? 

2. I desire, th^n, to discuss in this chapter the contra 
familiar view which treats what may be called 
Negativity not as a vanishing defect but as a funda- 
mental characteristic of the real ; to exhibit this 
view in connection with one or two points in logical 
theory, and to insist that its value depends on the 
principle being pressed home in its full force. 

I start from what I take to be the nature of full 
or logical contradiction. The crucial point seems 
to be that no predicates are intrinsically contrary to 
one another. 1 They only become so by the con- 
ditions under which they are drawn together. Con- 

1 See Bradley, Appearance^ 2nd ed., p. 562 ; and cf. author's 
Companion to Plato* s Republic^ notes on 436 B and 479 A. 


tradiction consists in " differents )} being ascribed 
to the same term, while no distinction is alleged 
within that term such as to make it capable of 
receiving them. t ' 

This is Plato's Law of Contradiction what does 
or suffers "opposites" (the danger of a logical 
circle is removed if we say " differents,' 1 which is 
enough J ) in the same relation must in itself be two 
and not one. And this is the root of his distinction 
between Opinion or Appearance, and Knowledge 
or Reality. It is a formal contradiction if you say, 
" This colour is both beautiful and ugly, i.e. not 
beautiful/' It ceases to be a contradiction if you 
say, " This colour by daylight is beautiful and by 
candle-light is ugly." Are not, it may be asked, 
those terms intrinsically contrary which can in no 
case be affirmed of one another, such as the circle 
and the square? Why, no. They do not impede 
one another or the process of thought unless we 
bring them together in a special form, to which 
their content is inadequate. 2 They may quite well 
be conjoint predicates of the same complex term, 
and when thus affirmed, and protected by adequate 
distinction, have nothing in them contrary to one 
another. It is one of the points that at first tries 
our patience in Plato, that he seems to find it con- 
tradictory that the same thing should look different 
at different distances. 3 It is really just a case of 
what he is constantly explaining, as in the argument 
above referred to. Obviously, it would be a contra- 

1 Bradley, I.e. 2 Cf. Bradley in Mind, Ixxii. p. 173. 

8 When he introduces the judgment of magnitude, " We see it 
bigger and smaller," \hzfact becomes doubtful. But there is enough 
truth in the statement for his immediate purpose. There is a tend- 
ency to the error in question. 


diction if a thing looked the same at different dis- 
tances ; that it looks different at different distances 
is a plain case under his Law of non-contradiction. 
There are places for all predicates ; and when all 
predicates are in their places, none of them is con- 
trary to any other. It is the bringing them together, 
on an inadequate basis of distinction, which is the 
essence of contradiction and contrariety, and this 
may happen with any diverse terms whatever. I 
venture to think that when we find an implication 
that predicates can be antecedently " contrary " or 
" opposite, " we may infer that contradiction has not 
been adequately analysed. 1 Contradiction, then, we 
suggest, is not a dead fact about certain predicates ; 
it is an imperfection in the organisation of systems. 

We may describe Contradiction then as a dead- 
lock, caused by the attempt to bring together two 
or more different terms without adequate adjust- 
ment of content for their reception. Contradiction 
in this sense is rightly pronounced unthinkable, and 
cannot, therefore H be a characteristic of Truth or of 
Ultimate Reality. For these, if they are anything, 
are experiences in which Thought is triumphant 
and harmonious with itself at least, even if with 
more besides. 

It will be a first step in our argument if we can 
decide at this point in what sense even such com- 
plete and formal contradiction is in some way an 
actual existent, and a characteristic of Reality. We 
see at once that it cannot be ultimate ; and we are 

1 I meet with this difficulty in McTaggart's Studies in Hegelian 
Dialectic, p. 9. If I am right, the term opposite, applied to predi- 
cates, has none but a rhetorical meaning. Cf., however, the same 
author's Commentary on HegePs Logic, sect. 1 16, where " opposites " 
are terms referred to a common basis and reconciled by distinction. 



disposed at the first look to admit that it is merely 
a blunder of our own making, a subjective error, 
incapable of belonging to the world of fact. But in 
saying this, we seem to have unduly idealised our 
actual world our given experience so far as we 
can at all recognise anything as given. We seem 
to be treating this with the respect only due to 
ultimate reality. For if there is anything that is 
given, it is a perpetual unrest of action and cogni- 
tion ; and this testifies to the presence of conflict 
and discord within every pulse of our experience, 
that is to say, the presence of contradictions which 
both in action and speculation make it impossible 
to repose in any actual moment. It must, I infer, 
be admitted that every day fact, what is given in 
normal experience, is self-contradictory as well as 
actual. If we say that what is self-contradictory 
cannot be actual fact, then we must deny the actuality 
of our whole normal world which is the field of our 
knowledge and action. For it is too plain that 
every object of knowledge and every situation such 
as to determine practice, if acquiesced in for a time, 
is acquiesced in only on sufferance, and really con- 
tains incoherences, combinations impossible as they 
stand, which must as soon as noted drive us on- 
wards. Facts, as we call them, are stable up to a 
certain point, will, so to speak, answer certain 
questions and meet certain needs; but when we 
transcend their several limits of stability by bringing 
them into connection with more of the real world, 
we become aware that none of them are sufficiently 
stubborn things to stand as finally coherent. The 
common appearances of our lives of material 
things, of conduct, and of institutions, all carry us 


a certain way, and to pronounce them illusory would 
be a foolish exaggeration. But, to take a single 
example, if we trust to man's living by bread alone 
by bodily comfort we shall find he cannot, and 
that though bodily nutrition is actual, we shall fall 
into contradiction find that nourishment is not 
nourishment if we take it as the exclusive mode 
in which human beings are kept alive. We shall 
find other needs asserted ; what we took for our 
system of " fact" will not give room for them. Our 
fact has broken down ; and all our facts break down 
in some such way, and at some such point. Thus, 
if we do not care to adopt the doctrine of Mdya 
which arises from a misapprehension on this head 
and class the whole known world as illusion, we 
must admit that what is experienced as actual fact 
may yet be self-contradictory. 1 We cannot escape 
by saying " thus far and no farther " ; by saying 
" we will take the world without asking questions, 
and thus it shall be perfect fact, and real without 
contradiction." JJor such a world will not keep 
pace with our experience. We shall find that 
action and argument, " like a wind," take us outside 
it; and our petrified facts will neither serve our 
need nor maintain themselves. 

The whole difficulty springs from trying to 
attribute to given fact the features of ultimate 
Reality. In truth, the actual world is charged with 
contradiction. Things are given with conjunctions 

1 Metaphysical criticism directed to establishing degrees of 
reality, after the manner of Plato and those who follow him, is of 
course the completest support of this point of view. It is most strik- 
ing to note that Hegel desires to treat " Widerspruch " as a category 
of his Logic, that is, as a necessary predicate of reality at a certain 
stage, apart from the working contradiction by which every category 
passes into its successor (McTaggart, Commentary^ sect. 1 1 8-9). 


of predicates which no distinctions are at hand to 
deal with and explain. In the life of conscious 
beings, again, contradiction is a felt experience, as 
actual as pain, dissatisfaction, unrest, ' which are 
forms of it or one with it. It consists in an attempted 
union, which, though given, yet because it fails in 
the contents necessary for adjustment, a mind or 
even a life (it would appear) cannot endure. It is 
actual, as the experience of progress proves, over 
the whole region of action and cognition, which is 
equivalent to the region of finite experience. 
The spirit 3. Our next step is to ascertain what form or 
nessis r spirit of " otherness " survives when a logical con- 
trac j} ct j on j s reso lved. The point I would draw 
attention to is that we are here dealing with a sur- 
vival of what was present in Logical Contradiction. 
Nothing is changed, except that what was attempted 
has been achieved. The contents are diverse, as 
they were ; sensuous contents, ideas, emotions, con- 
scious members of a social world. The principle is 
the same throughout ; they rushc towards one an- 
other through the same impulse, to come together 
in the whole which animates them ; the change is 
merely that now they and their world have been 
readjusted, and can carry out their union. How 
are we to describe the form of their surviving 
distinctness ? We may take such examples as a 
sensuous harmony of colour or sound, or mind and 
motive at their best, or two selves united in one 
emotion, or the satisfaction of desire. 

I may illustrate the point by Hegel's view of 
contradiction. 1 It is merely an illustration, for I 
do not wish to raise any historical question. It 
1 See above, p. 225. 


is familiar ground that Hegel has been accused 
of denying or disregarding the logical law which 
pronounces contradiction to be unthinkable, and 
that his best interpreters have shown the charge to 
be false. They have pointed out that the Dialectic, 
so far from disregarding the law of Contradiction, 
rests'entirely upon it. It is because Contradiction 
is unthinkable and intolerable that a conjunction 
of judgments which makes their predicates irrecon- 
cilable demands a readjustment of contents and the 
formation of a new totality. 

Now, while I admit that this is contained in 
Hegel's view of Contradiction, I cannot but think 
that there is something more behind. Hegel obvi- 
ously feels himself fundamentally in antagonism to 
the current formal view of Contradiction as merely 
unthinkable. No words are too strong for him 
to express his scorn of such an attitude. "What 
moves the world is Contradiction ; it is ridiculous 
to say that Contradiction is unthinkable. What is 
true in this assertion only comes to this, that Contra- 
diction cannot be final, and that by its own action 
it cancels while it maintains itself (Sick aufhebt\ 
The cancelled and maintained contradiction, how- 
ever, is not abstract identity, for this is only one 
side of the antithesis." 1 Here, no doubt, we are 
in the region of essence, where oppositions are 
sharp and pointed. But this does not account for 
the whole of Hegel's attitude, which is fundamental 
with him : " Whereas people say that Contradiction 
is not thinkable, the truth is that in pain which 
a living being feels it is actually a real existence." 2 
(He says the same of motion in space.) Again: 

1 Encyclop. p. 119, Zusatz 2. 2 Werke, Bd. v. 249. 


11 Formal thinking prescribes to itself the rule that 
Contradiction is not thinkable ; but, in fact, the 
thinking of Contradiction is the essential moment 
of the Notion." 1 These latter passages are from 
the discussion of Life and of the Absolute Idea. 
It is clear that we have here a reference to some- 
thing more than the mere deadlock between saying 
and unsaying the same thing. It is agreed that 
a logical contradiction is a position which cannot 
be held ; but we further note a strong conviction 
that it contains and implies something, the value 
and necessity of which accounts for and justifies the 
inevitability of contradiction itself. Contradiction, 
as we saw above, is not just a mistake of ours ; it is 
a check or friction incident to the misfit of experi- 
ence in its self-systematisation. The question is, 
what is left, what is found to have been the true 
movement of union, when the check or friction is 
removed by readjustment ? 

This brings us to a suggestion for meeting the 
problem. "What survives whe^n a contradiction 
is resolved ? " We might venture to reply " A 
successful embodiment of ' negativity/ " Hegel 
often speaks of Negativity as apparently a factor 
or moment lying deep in the inmost structure of 
the Real, as the pulse of life and spring of move- 
ment of the world. 2 It is not one with the dead 
fact of unthinkableness which attaches to logical 
contradiction. It is rather the spirit of system 8 

1 Werke, Bd. v. 332. 

2 For different views on this question see McTaggart, Studies in 
Hegelian Dialectic^ sect. 9 and 117; Prof. McGilvary, Mind, vii. 

P- 397. 

3 See author's Logic> 2nd ed., i. 289, on place of Negation in 
Knowledge. Cf. Bergson, Evolution crtatrice, p. 315, who on this 
point seems unaware of Plato's profound discussions. 


and self -consciousness the intimate nature of a 
being which, while acting and expanding, is yet at 
home with itself distinguishable or self -distin- 
guishing, nn and throughout the intimate union with 
its contents in expansion and in action. It is the 
successful and pure expression of that whole aspect 
or tendency of anything real, which finds imperfect 
manifestation, with an accompaniment of friction 
and hindrance, in what has been described above 
as Formal or Logical Contradiction. 

Negativity, then, it is submitted, is fundamental 
in all that is real. It is the same characteristic 
which has been described as the fact that experience 
is always beyond itself the character, indeed, which 
we have described from the beginning as that of the 
universal, or, in other words, the tendency of every 
datum to transcend itself as a fragment and com- 
plete itself as a whole. It is what has been spoken 
of under the name of self-consciousness as the nature 
of a being which is itself and its other in one. 

I am suggesting that Negation and Negativity 
have sometimes been confused with Contradiction. 
Contradiction, as we have tried to explain it, is an 
unsuccessful or obstructed Negativity; Negativity 
a successful or frictionless contradiction. Negation, 
according to our views which have been maintained 
elsewhere, is correlative to affirmation. The ques- 
tion about it is, not, how much meaning you can 
conjure out of a bare denial, but why, in the most 
highly developed experience, negation bears an equal 
part. 1 And the answer is, that negation is funda- 

1 Cf. author's Logic^ loc. cit. M. Bergson has discussed the 
question at length (Evolution crtatrice^ loc, cit.). His answer, 
though emphasising the factor of interest and sentiment, falls within 


mental in a systematic whole. Its members, in 
order to be, must also not be. In a sense this is true 
even of the whole itself, as active in them. 

It seems erroneous, therefore, to hold that 
Negativity vanishes as perfection is approached. 
The reverse seems to be the case. 

Negative and affirmative growpariflassu. When 
this is not admitted, we suspect a confusion between 
Contradiction and Negation. It is a point which 
seems full of significance, and which can hardly 
be too much insisted on, that otherness and the 
not-self, the vastness of the universe with which 
every self has to be reconciled, increases and does 
not diminish by the same movement by which 
friction, obstruction, conflict, are reduced and re- 
moved. So long as there is no science, and the 
world baffles and contradicts the mind of the savage 
at every turn, there can be no such conception of a 
reality not ourselves over against the self as there 
is in the days of Newton and Darwin. Whether it 
is here interpreted to the right effect or not, this 
matter is one which is, and ought not to be, neglected ; 
viz., that negation plays a larger and not a smaller 
part as contradiction diminishes. It is contradiction 
in fact confusion or conflict checking the orderly 
expansion of a system, whether a life or a theory 
which hinders significant negation from appearing. 
A true negativity, say, an organised universe of 
desire, is a solved contradiction. 

This, therefore, it is submitted, is the spirit of 
difference which survives even where contradiction 

the general account given by Plato and others, that negation is the 
spirit of an interdependent system. This is why often, instead of 
affirming a, it is convenient to deny b. 


has been overcome, and where we possess what is 
most real and most thinkable. Everything con- 
tributes to the whole, and the friction or failure of 
adjustment* which made the contradiction or dead- 
lock, say, in the attempted combination of two or 
more desires, no doubt represented and enhanced 
the distinctness of the two sides, which survives in 
and tends to perfect the completed union. But 
it appears to me that we are allowing ourselves to 
lose sight of the full problem if we treat the mere 
fact of having refused to enter together into a whole 
that is, of having been in contradiction, as some- 
thing which, surviving as such, qualifies the success- 
ful union. The qualification, whatever it is, can 
surely count and work only as it survives within the 
completed whole, and it is in the factors of this 
whole itself that we have to find the experience of 
negativity ; which is not, according to the view 
here insisted on, a note of imperfection, but is a 
character that is deepest in the most perfectly real 

What, then, do we mean by Negativity as a 
feature of experience? If it only means difference, 
the distinctness necessary to identification, is not 
a term connected with the idea of negation too 
violent and exaggerated to use for it ? What is 
here meant is not precisely difference, but difference 
as subsumed under the general character of nega- 
tion, that is to say, diversity or distinctness as 
regarded from the point of view of an attempted 
union ; the attitude to take a conscious being, 
probably the only ultimate case, as at least an illus- 
tration of any spirit that demands a union or 
satisfaction, to that with which it is impelled to 


unite or in which it aspires to be satisfied. Now 
no doubt self-completion, satisfaction, felt solution 
of contradiction, are possible at many levels of life ; 
and compatible with very easy and effortless ex- 
periences. But it is here suggested that in a true 
typical satisfaction felt resolution of a contradic- 
tion there is always a certain exaltation which 
depends essentially on the fact that in satisfaction 
the self goes out into the other, and, though or 
because it becomes enriched, is beyond itself. In 
a word, to put the whole paradox brutally, it is 
undergoing an experience which logically and in 
its fundamental structure is one with self-sacrifice. 1 
How can this be construed of anything but a finite 
being? Obviously not by help of such words as 
have just been used, presupposing limits and a 
temporal modification in the self. But there is 
a point of some interest which may at least serve 
to bring out the distinction of principle between 
taking Negation, as, like Contradiction, an incident 
of finiteness, and taking it as fundamental in Reality. 
Hostility 4. It has already been implied that the current 
y i ew of experience, influential even among philo- 
s phers, confuses Contradiction and Negativity. 
The principle that an element of Reality can find 

ness(Nega- . . . . . 

tivity). completion only in what is not itself, is confused 

semblance with the imperfection of adjustment in finite beings 

confusion. r contents, which so far hinders such completion 

from taking place. And thus it comes to be held 

that Negation, like Contradiction, is a vanishing 

quantity, and that in a complete experience it would 

1 There is self-sacrifice, in form, in so far as the self contradicts 
itself as a condition of self-expression. But the form may include a 
contradiction we do not approve of one which minimises the self 
on the whole and then we call it wrong-doing. 


disappear. The point of interest which was just 
now referred to as emphasising the distinction of 
principle, is the extreme difficulty of avoiding this 
confusion. 1 When we endeavour to insist upon the 
nature of self-consciousness, as self and other in 
one, by instances and analyses drawn from actual 
experience, we constantly find ourselves appealing 
to characteristics which depend upon ignorance and 
imperfection. The ideal which we have in mind 
is the self in the other, but in actual experience we 
get little more than the self and the other. 1 Now 
the crux in the distinction of principle arises at this 
point, because of the appearance as if it were the 
discrepancy of self and other that for us gives 
interest to the realisation of self in other. We 
may take as a characteristic case that apparent 
responsiveness of external Nature to human moods, 
the perception of which is at least a great part of 
the apprehension of the beautiful. The freshness 
and strength of the feeling which such perceptions 
bring with therp is surely in a great measure de- 
pendent on the fact that they come to us as unde- 
signed coincidences. It is for this reason that 
they seem to bring to us a confirmation of our 
own sentiments which is rooted somewhere beyond 
the foundations of our own private being. If there 
were no novelty, no unfamiliarity, in a word, no 
friction nor discrepancy intruding upon our appre- 
hension of natural beauty, then, we are inclined to 
conceive, the return upon ourselves would lose in 
vigour what it gained in facility, and the magic 
of the new and inexplicable would be lost in a dull 
sensation that it is all the same old story. 

1 Nettleship, Biography of Green, p. 206. 


Now the case thus stated emphasises the opposite 
side of the question from that which was stated 

before. And the interest is that both are undeni- 


ably actual. It is true, as we urged, that the sense 
of the beyond, of a something which stands over 
against the mind, must be incalculably greater for 
Newton or for Darwin than for a savage to whom 
nature is chiefly a mysterious source of unaccount- 
able interferences. But it is also true that a loss 
of novelty and strangeness of friction in making 
the world our own seems to very many minds 
destructive of poetry, and of responsiveness on 
Nature's part. The two tendencies are deep- 
rooted, and both no doubt must have their justifi- 
cation. Does complete knowledge and familiarity 
dull the interest of a landscape or a poem, or does 
it rather, as some would say, cause the response 
to be even deeper, and the significance to be more 
profoundly felt? Is novelty necessary to enjoy- 
ment, and ought a story to lose its interest when 
we find we have read it before P 1 In these simple 
questions, which our every-day acquaintance with 
nature, art, and letters, forces upon us, we have an 
embodiment of the metaphysical issue which is the 
subject of this chapter. Is Logical Contradiction 
a necessary condition or accompaniment of a genuine 
conciliation and satisfaction ; or is this, compara- 
tively speaking, an accident of growth, giving place 
to an exaltation which increases with mastery and 
the removal of incidental interferences, as the self 
comes together with a not-self which is completer 

1 Cf. the question how far hostility to sense is necessary to the 
sublime (Professor A. C. Bradley, Oxford Lectures, p. 56). On the 
whole, and when the experience is at its best, it is not so. 


and more free from discrepancy? There can be 
no doubt that the latter alternative on the whole 
represents the truth. It is a bad romance which 
interests 6n the first reading only. It is a vulgar 
appetite for tlie marvellous which finds superstition 
more exciting and poetical than science. It is not 
the obstructive but the truly responsive different, 
which in the deepest sense attracts and exalts us. 1 
Of course the possibility of the former is rooted 
in the characteristic which constitutes the latter. 

The other tendency we can empirically see to be 
of a vanishing nature ; or else civilisation would, as 
the pessimist thinks, destroy the charm of the 
world. But the pessimist is not without his 
grounds, and novelty and inexplicability must have 
genuine features of attraction. The two sources 
of interest have, as we saw, the same root ; the 
possibility of discord is involved in the claim to har- 
mony. In the first place, we can see the necessity 
that it should be so; if not, if their first aspect 
was purely deterrent, progress could never begin. 
Secondly, as we have said already, the response 
that is cumbered with strangeness and obstruction 
has the seal of an undesigned coincidence ; we feel 
that the very enemy takes our part. These might 
be called formal feelings, like the analogous enjoy- 
ment of detecting a plot puzzle, or being amazed 
at unheard-of ingenuities of romance. But when 
the rind of things is pierced, and the content begins 
to be won, a deeper set of emotions is stirred ; and 

1 The two tendencies in the appreciation of beauty which I have 
taken as examples of interest depending on Logical Contradiction 
and on simple Negativity respectively, are curiously parallel to the 
two views of the conditions of the consciousness of self, which will 
be discussed below, p. 247. 


we begin to rejoice in the substantive values which 
expand and affirm our self, and not merely in the 
surprise that the crust should yield to our instru- 
ments at all. There is more to be said 'than this, 
of course, about the delights of mystery ; but we 
must be content with a single warning. The atti- 
tude of the mystic, which all philosophy must re- 
spect, does not depend on mystery in the vulgar 
sense ; not on the marvellousness, or unaccountable- 
ness, or obscurity of ideas. The mystic, above all 
men, is absorbed in the greatness of a content for 
its own sake, and in its overwhelming clearness. 
It is not contradiction, not friction and obstruction, 
but immediacy as opposed to discursiveness that 
distinguishes his apprehension of the real. 

We may thus understand, perhaps, or approach 
an understanding, how Logical Contradiction, though 
apparently a characteristic attending interest and 
value in the response of the not-self, is so really only 
as an introduction, and for vanishing reasons. And 
we can infer that to interpret our interesting sense 
of the beyond or " other " which furnishes our 
satisfactions, as due to our ignorance and defect, 
and as a vanishing quantity in the progress of the 
mind, is to confuse the incident with the essence ; 
and that, as in the example of natural knowledge, 
the otherness becomes more definite as the object 
becomes more adequate to the subject. 

It is partly, perhaps, with the view of constru- 
ing these appearances that many thinkers have 
embarked on the adventure of treating all the 
content of life as a translation of the interaction 
of conscious beings. Here, no doubt, we seem to 
have a suggestion of an "other" which is able 


to maintain its independence, its otherness, along 
with any degree of transparency or familiarity. 
And I mention the speculation chiefly to make 
clear, if it cfoes not seem clear, what is the particular 
crux which I have had in mind. We may hold it 
possible to imagine an intelligent being who has 
nothing left to learn from a sunset or even from 
a pain or pleasure ; and, putting that impossible case, 
we should be unable to comprehend how they can any 
longer be experiences by union with which his self has 
anything to gain. But a person, it would be urged, 
however well you know him, is still an independent 
source of response, and it may be argued that here, 
and here only, you find the true other of a self. 

I find a difficulty in this speculation which may 
rest on misapprehension, but which I will indicate 
in a few words because our view of externality 
is concerned. What we must have, on any theory, 
for Reality and especially for Negativity to be mani- 
fested in, is the content of life, pain, conflict, sacrifice, 
satisfaction. No % w there is a difficulty, is there not ? 
in getting these contents out of a universe in which 
nature is a system of persons, except by presuppos- 
ing, in the outside or other of every thing regarded 
as a person, what might as well have been pre- 
supposed as the outside or other of the persons 
commonly recognised as such. It is things, is it 
not ? which set the problems of life for persons ; and 
if you turn all things into persons the differences 
which make life interesting are gone, except in as 
far as for practical purposes you turn the persons 
back again into things, i.e. your food, or your own 
body, or the place at which you were born. In 
making the outside adequate to the highest claims, 


you have turned it into an inside, and so, while 
professing to meet the problem of the outside in the 
highest degree, you have, it appears to me, really 
abandoned it altogether. If the instruments and 
attributes of my life are turned into persons, I surely 
am reduced to emptiness and deprived of my 
character, for without external activity my character 
is nothing. This criticism may be mistaken, but it 
may pass as affirming that we must perceive as 
actual the distinctions, which give life its content. 
There cannot be spirit, it would seem, constituted 
by nothing but pure spiritual centres. 1 Spirit is a 
light, a focus, a significance, which can only be by 
contact with a " nature," 2 an external world. 
Conciu- 5. I will proceed to indicate the consequences of 

opposed to these ideas, well-known consequences, to which I 
opinions, have nothing to add, except just this, to urge that 
their point is lost if they are not conceived in their 
whole depth of paradox. I will try to express them 
through antitheses to current opinions, which will 
bring out the reasons for which they seem to me 
important ; and these are also the characteristics 
which define their peculiarity. 

Fimteness a. It is a mistake to treat the finite world, or 
not iHu- pain, or evil, as an illusion. To the question whether 
they are real or are not real, the answer must be, as 
to all questions of this type, that everything is real, 
so long as you do not take it for more than it is. 
On the view here accepted, finiteness, pain, and evil 

1 Cf. Caird, Critical Philosophy of Kant \ ii. 536 ; Bradley, Mind, 
li. p. 327 note. 

2 How far is such a view cognate with the ideas of M. Bergson ? 
Would he say that la vie would be better, and could be at all, without 
matter, which appears to be for him in the main the debris or detritus 
of life, and yet in some way its positive sine qua non ? 



are essential features of Reality, and belong to an 
aspect of it which leaves its marks even on perfec- 
tion. The view that they are illusions says that if 
we knew Everything and could feel everything we 
should see and feel that there was no pain or evil at 
all. The view that contradiction is actual, and, more 
than that, is an exaggeration of a feature truly 
fundamental in reality, says that if we knew every- 
thing and could feel everything we should see and 
feel what finiteness, pain, and evil mean, and how 
they play a part in perfection itself. The way of 
meeting them though it is not our business to 
preach, yet we may permit ourselves to illustrate 
our view by its effect the way of meeting them is 
different in principle for these two theories. It is 
absurd and insulting to tell a man in pain or in sin 
that there is no such thing as pain or sin ; it is 
neither absurd nor insulting to try to let him feel 
that of each of them something great and precious 
can be made. In a certain sense the two views, 
that which disposes of them as illusion, and that 
which accepts them as immanent in perfection 
though not just as they seem, may be forced into 
approximation. But our present task is to insist 
on their difference, to urge that all depends on 
being in earnest with the idea of negativity, and 
that from such a point of view the idea of illusion is 
rejected, though that of appearance, as something 
actual and yet contradictory, is accepted. I do not 
think that Hegel can be held to treat evil as an 
illusion, though he has used the word illusion in 
discussing the matter. 1 As I understand, the illusion 

1 Encyclopadic, sect. 212; cf. McTaggart, Studies in Hegelian 
Dialectic^ Chap. v. 



which he speaks of is not the belief that evil or 
finiteness is actual, but the belief that its actuality 
prevents the supreme end from being accomplished, 
whereas in truth it is essential to its accomplishment. 
At all events, as against the idea that finiteness, 
pain, and evil are illusions, the view here indicated 
would maintain that finite conscious beings actually 
suffer and do wrong because it is their nature to 
complete themselves, and the general form of this 
completion involves as one factor in it the relative 
loss of self, and in the finite world this is emphasised 
by various degrees of what we have called Logical 
Contradiction, that is to say, inadequacy of the 
elements in which completion is sought. It would 
follow, and this seems to agree with the best ethical 
theory, that the ultimate logical structure, if I may 
so speak, of suffering and of evil is the same as that 
of satisfaction and of good. That is very noticeable, 
of course, in Green's theory of morality. It is 
undoubtedly not easy on this theory to distinguish 
otherwise than in degree between, moral good and 
evil. And I believe this to be an indication that its 
main outline, its metaphysical fabric, is sound. 1 The 
difference, in principle, is one of the adequacy of the 
contents in which self-completion is- sought, and the 
consequent degree of their tendency to give rise to 
discord 2 and contradiction. But in all important 
satisfaction there is a thrill, which is analogous to 

1 A theory of the bad self, such as we have in Mr. Bradley's 
Ethical Studies, is needed to work out the distinction of good and 
bad in conduct. 

2 It must be remembered (Bradley, Appearance, 2nd ed., p. 364) 
that the discord which is not felt may be the most extreme. The 
hardened sinner is an obvious case. That the inadequate self- 
completeness is sought as true self-completeness is an essential point 
of the bad self. It is involved in the statement of the text. 



pain, due to the tension of self -completion ; and 
theory seems to demand that, as Plato suggested, a ' 
perfect experience 1 should be, not indifferent or 
neutral as the careless reader supposes, but such as 
to include and harmonise in itself the characteristics 
of pain and pleasure. 

ft. The same mode of thought would be hostile Theperfect 
to any conception of the divine nature which should must not 
involve stability and perfection in such a sense as to exclude 
exclude activity and the general form of self-sacrifice. 
It is not intended to adhere to the view of those who 
conceive the divine being as finite, and as possibly 
one of a number. The intention is rather the reverse, 
namely, to maintain that finiteness eo ipso arises, if 
negativity is not given its full significance in the 
conception of the supreme nature. Dr. E. Caird's 
criticism of Aristotle's Theoretic Life, 2 as literally 
interpreted, puts this point very clearly. It is not 
an imperfection in the supreme being, but an 
essential of his completeness, that his nature, 
summing up that of all Reality, should go out into 
its other to seek the completion which in this case 
alone is absolutely found. The "other" in question 
can only be finite experience ; and it is in and 
because of this, and qualified by it, that the Divine 
nature maintains its infinity. And, therefore, it may 
be said that the general form of self-sacrifice the 
fundamental logical structure of Reality is to be 
found here also, as everywhere. Not, of course, 
that the infinite being can lose and regain its per- 
fection, but that the burden of the finite is inherently a 
part or rather an instrument of the self-completion of 

1 Philebus^ 33 13 ; Nettleship's Remains^ ii. 311. 

2 Evolution of Theology and Greek Philosophy ', i. 382 ; ii. 25 ff. 


the infinite. The view is familiar. I only plead that 
it loses all point if it is not taken in bitter earnest. 1 

I have used remorselessly phrases which imply 
time "activity," "going out of oneself*" "seeking 
and finding." The objection to predicating time of 
the supreme experience lies in the nature of self- 
completeness, and if, on the one hand, succession 
seems incompatible with this, on the other hand, the 
idea of instantaneousness or simultaneity, which is 
a temporal idea, must not here be introduced to 
embarrass our thoughts. We must surely distinguish 
the conception of changing or progressing as a 
whole from the conception of uniting in a self- 
complete being characteristics which for us demand 
succession. 2 If we were to be barred from ascribing 
content to the supreme being, because for us all 
content is developed in time, the end must be that 
for us the supreme being will be nothing. 
"Surplus 7. Finally, our point of view is hostile to the 

of pleasure r i i r J 

over pam " form in which questions of optimism and pessimism 
truVpomt are usually raised as to the surplus of pleasure over 
at issue. p a j n j n t h e universe. Even Mr. Bradley has dis- 
cussed this question with reference to the Absolute. 
But I cannot help thinking that it is improperly 
stated. What we as factors of Reality demand, 
what any factors of Reality as such must demand, is 
essentially, if I am right, not pleasure but satisfac- 
tion, that is, the sense that by help of the negative 
we have attained ourselves. This, no doubt, implies 
some pleasure ; but the point is, if I am not alto- 

1 I have had much in mind Nettleship's fragment on the Atone- 

2 I may refer again to one of Nettleship's fragments, that on 
Immortality. Cf. also Kant's doctrine of the infinite moral progress 
as seen by God. 


gether wrong, that in satisfaction the pain or 
difficulty, as a " moment" i.e. a phase which 
remains an element contributes actively to the 
positive attainnjent. Whereas, in comparing pleasure 
and pain as experienced facts of feeling, I presume 
that they retain their first positions as respectively 
plus and minus quantities. 

This is one point, and another follows from it. 
The comparison of pleasure and pain in respect of 
quantity, even if we disregard the difficulties pointed 
out in anti- Hedonist polemic, betrays an inorganic 
point of view. The question cannot surely be how 
many moments of pain you have experienced, and 
whether you have had enough moments of pleasure, 
allowing for the intensities on each side, to outweigh 
them, but whether the experience has done its work, 
and returned you to yourself a complete or at least 
a completer being. So, it would seem, the problem 
should be stated about the universe. Not, if we 
could reckon up moments of equal pleasure and 
pain (to simplify nhe question by reducing it to a 
matter of counting) which of the two classes would 
be found to outnumber the other, but rather, is 
there reason for thinking that pain and finiteness 
are elements playing a definite part in the whole 
such that its completeness depends upon containing 
them? Broadly speaking, I suggest, experience 
indicates that a soul which has never known pain, 
like a nation which has never known war, has no 
depth of being, and is not a personality at all. Of 
course, this way of looking at the matter does not 
by itself dispose of the suggestion that the cost even 
of perfecting a soul may be too high ; but the 
conviction that there essentially must be a certain 


cost corresponds to our best insight in the sphere of 
every day experience. 

AH- S. And so, in the end, if such a question as that 

of pleasure or pain in the Absolute^ has reality for 
us at a ^> fr seems all-important whence we take 

tion Sfac *ke su gg es ti ns from which we are to learn what 
to look for. We ought surely not to start from 
commonplace experiences, but rather from those 
in which self-expression is at the fullest, the rare 
moments to which Aristotle alludes in the discussion 
of the Theoretic life. It may be noteworthy that 
\ristotle consents while Plato refuses to ascribe the 
: eeling of pleasure to the Divine nature ; and this 
nay be connected with Aristotle's apparent omission 
3f negativity from his conception of an ideally perfect 
experience. In his distinction, however, between 
:he enjoyment of self-realisation and the enjoyment 
}f recreation he throws out a hint which we might 
lo well to follow. And for him as for us, apparently, 
the activities primarily devoted to sheer enjoyment 
ind delight are wrested by the* very structure of 
man's soul to severer forms of self-expression, so 
that the completest of all the creations in which as 
yet man has freely and spontaneously sought what 
at his best he most enjoys is, I presume, for us, as 
for Aristotle, that of poetical tragedy. This does 
seem to me to be a paradox worth noting. Can 
we seriously suppose that a nature which, when it 
reaches the summit of evolution so far as we have 
experienced it, is taking such a line as this, will find 
a perfection in any attainment which is not strongly 
marked with an analogous temper P 1 

1 Is it tolerable to contemplate enjoying such imaginations without 
sharing something of the experiences which suggest them ? And if 


I am only using this idea to set the question of 
optimism in a certain light ; that is to say, to state 
it not as the question whether pain is as it were 
quantitatively submerged or neutralised by pleasure, 
but by lookiflg for a completeness in which souls 
have found themselves, or realised their inherent 
structure ; which completeness, considered as a 
whole, cannot be quantitatively compared with the 
factors or elements, such as pain or pleasure, sub- 
ordinated within it. If we had no negative factor 
but Contradiction as such, then I suppose complete- 
ness could only be in its abolition, i.e. in an Absolute 
or perfection which bore in it no trace of the 
character present in finiteness and imperfection. 
But the distinction between Contradiction, as we 
defined it, and Negativity, seemed to be suggestive 
on this head. 

6. It is on the whole an attractively simple view The two 
that the not-self means discord and collision with S^ot- 
the self, and that the self is experienced, and self- is 1 ^ 
hood indeed exists, by opposition to such a not-self; 1 
and that consequently, with the cessation of discord- 
ance, that is, of what we have called Logical 
Contradiction, the experiences of selfhood as such 
must cease and determine, though Individuality 

the idea is tolerable, yet could such enjoyment be possible ? A truth 
may be hidden under the notion that the saved are to delight in the 
vision of the sufferings of hell (Browning, Johannes Agricola), but 
our ordinary thoughtless hope that others have suffered for the 
happiness and amusement of those who come after, who are to enter 
upon the inheritance without a pang, strikes me as essentially one 
with that mediaeval mood, and &$> prima facie revolting. Its error is 
in wholly separating satisfaction from pain. The truth must bring 
them nearer together. Cf. Introduction, p. 14, on Mr. Bertrand 
Russell's remarks on Tragedy in his essay entitled, "A Free Man's 
Worship" (Philosophical Essays). 

1 Taylor, Metaphysic, p. 340 ; cp. pp. 61 and 350. 


proper would all the more survive and prosper. 
For such a view the responsive not-self would have 
no existence, and consequently, all differentiations 
or sub-individualities within the Absolute* would be 
in various degrees imperfect and self-discordant, 
and the Absolute itself could have no experience of 
selfhood. They would be mere appearances whose 
inner imperfection would reveal itself in their dis- 
crepancy as against an outer not-self. A conception 
of this kind, involving the admission that all minor 
individualities within the Absolute must be imperfect 
and self -discrepant, would cut many knots. It 
would release us from the attempt to understand 
the perfect experience as implying a society of 
perfect selves, and to explain the relation of our 
imperfect selves to such supposed perfect differentia- 
tions of the Absolute. 1 

But there is an obvious and all-important fact, 
already mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, 
which demands that any such ideas should only be 
accepted with considerable modification. It is quite 
plain that our conception of self has two 2 sources in 
its relation to the not-self, and not one only; and that 
the sense of unity and reconciliation with the world 
beyond us is a far larger factor in our awareness of 
selfhood, and one which increases concomitantly 
with it, than is the sense of collision with the not-self. 

Now if we are going to say that the sense of 
union with or satisfaction in the not-self e.g. of 

* The difficulty raised by Mr. McTaggart's view. See Studies in 
Heglian Cosmology, sect. 22 ff. 

2 See Taylor, Elements, p. 350. "The two typical forms of 
experience from which the concept of self appears to be derived," I 
can hardly reconcile this with the exclusive prominence given to the 
negative form, e.g. on p. 340. 


co-operation with a society is not an element in 
furnishing us with our conception of selfhood, then 
we are driven to this result, that the awareness of 
selfhood disappears in proportion as the self expands 
in excellence and success. And in a certain sense 
such a conclusion is tenable ; l and in this sense it 
might give us a useful indication when we come to 
consider the attribution of an awareness of self to 
the Absolute. 

But the fundamental point is here. In agreement 
with the whole doctrine of this chapter, we must 
take it that the sense of discord and the sense of 
concord are rooted in one and the same characteristic 
of experience, the negativity which makes satisfaction 
possible, but which in imperfect conjunctions takes 
the form of contradiction. If we are willing to 
dispense with the conception of a system of perfect 
selves as constituting the Absolute, then we may 
admit that in some degree contradiction as well as 
harmony will attach to every finite self, because of 
its imperfection. Therefore, we may concede that 
however complete the reconciliation with the not- 
self, however true it is that the self at its best has 
in its world of externality an immense affirmative 
expansion, yet the determination of the sense of 
selfhood by contradiction with the not-self is an 
element never altogether absent from the finite self- 
consciousness, and one that co-operates in giving 
sharpness to the recognition of self. 

The finite self, then, would be essentially such as 
we know it, imperfect and inconsistent with itself ; 
though it would have in its nature an element of 

1 Cf. "self-consciousness" in the bad sense, the disappearance of 
which certainly means a strengthening of the self. 


unity and expansion, suggesting a completion which 
as a finite self we must conceive that it would never 
attain. As experienced in the absolute experience, 
when the essence of perfection is to transmute and 
to triumph over imperfection, it woulcl no longer, so 
the indication runs, be called a self. 1 As we have 
seen and shall see, its substance would lend itself to 
new arrangements, to the constitution of new worlds 
in continuity and readjustment with other selves, so 
that the experience would be no longer describable 
as constituting a system of selves. 

Nevertheless, the positive affirmation of the 
expanding self in its not-self, which we have seen to 
be the really essential element of self-consciousness, 
though not perhaps the limiting factor, gives an 
indication that cannot be disregarded either for the 
self in the Absolute, or for the Absolute if we 
attempt to regard it as a self. We have urged 
throughout that it is in the highest of our own 
experiences that we must seek for the clues to the 
fullest reality. And that we experience our self 
most completely just when we are least aware of its 
finite selfness 2 is a clue which must not be forgotten. 
Defect and contradiction cannot constitute the really 
significant essence even of a finite being. It is 
positive awareness of an area or quality of self- 
maintenance that after all the self aspires to, though 
failure and contradiction may force on it a recog- 
nition of its limits and it is this, the real foundation 
of selfhood, that is in some way possessed by the 
self in the Absolute, and by the Absolute so far as 
analogous to a self. 

1 Bradley's Appearance^ 2nd ed., p. 529. 

2 Cf. again the case of self-consciousness in the bad sense. 


7. Thus we have attempted to show that while Has finite 
contradiction and discrepancy are inevitable in the a value? 

constitution of the finite self, they are not the 
ultimate characters which the constitution of a self 
presupposes ; and that this ultimate character, quite Absolute. 
apart from speculations about the Absolute, reveals 
itself in increasing degrees through those experi- 
ences which exhibit the finite self as a self in the 
fullest sense. We have, however, admitted that 
much of what we habitually associate with the idea 
of a self in the "other," is connected with the 
features of apparent discord and opposition, which 
give the idea of freshness and independence that 
seems to reinforce any responsiveness we meet with 
in nature. And it is not in the absence of negation, 
but in the growth part passu and even in the 
fusion of the negative and positive responses, that 
we found reason to treat self -consciousness as 
conditioned, if by a negative, yet not by a 

A strong light is thrown upon the difference 
between these two conceptions by a problem which 
is fundamental for our attitude to the finite self and 
finite life in general It is allied to the problem of 
pessimism, but is really rather the issue between 
the lower and the higher mysticism. Men have 
asked, from Greek times downwards at least, 
whether it is better to be born or not to be born ? I 
do not mean in the commonplace sense of asking 
whether or no life or the world of lives contains 
more of pleasure or of pain, as, in my opinion, we 
roughly and rather unthinkingly distinguish them. 
On our attitude to this form of the question I have 
said something above, and shall have more to say 


below. But the point now before us is different 
and much more serious. It is not a survey of life 
by a standard taken within it, but an ultimate 
question as to the place and functions of finite life 
in the universe ; the question insisted on by mysti- 
cism in its popular and aggressive forms. 

Every student of Plato must often have longed 
to know what Plato held to be the function and 
justification of terrestrial life on the whole and in 
the scheme of the universe. One might state the 
problem crudely by asking if he ever admitted that 
any soul was the better for undergoing or having 
undergone the life on earth. Did our knowledge, 
our morality, our love of beauty, partially and 
laboriously won in the conflict of sensations and 
desires, seem to him to be of any value, for ourselves 
or for the universe, which would not have equally 
been real more real without them ? Did he 
consciously apply to the whole being of the finite 
the principle so obvious in ,his detailed theory, that 
hindrances and contradictions are opportunities and 
starting-points ? It would be beyond our present 
subject to attempt an answer to these questions as 
regards Plato. 1 But they serve as an introduction 
to the standpoint of mysticism. 

" Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb, 
Are they not sign and symbol of thy division from Him ? " 

These lines, as I understand them, 2 show an in- 
teresting deviation towards natural mysticism in a 

1 See Caird, Evolution of Theology in Greek Philosophy, on 
Timaeus, i. 254. 

2 Tennyson, " The Higher Pantheism." I take the poet to mean 
that it is finite life which separates the soul from God ; 1 have known 
it to be held that he meant the hint of separation to lie in the possi- 
bility of death, inherent in the body. 


poem which contains along with them a splendid 
expression of " immanence." l And so the mysti- 
cism of the East, at any rate in a popular stage which 
passed into European thought largely through 
Schopenhauer, answers decisively that it would be 
better if no one were born. Self, self-consciousness, 
self-will are held to be disturbances, diseases of the 
universe, and illusions in the full meaning of the 
word, that is to say, not merely appearances 
whose contradictions point to a fuller reality, 
but phenomena which essentially involve the total 
contradiction and disappointment of the ideas 
and desires which constitute them. And this dis- 
appointment and contradiction are not held to be 
in any way instrumental to a realisation of the 
content of such ideas and desires in any form what- 
ever. A link between such an attitude and the 
constructive conceptions of Western thought is 
indeed supplied by the reservation that though not 
instrumental to any fulfilment of itself, the finite 
world is connected with the one desirable fulfil- 
ment its own suppression by a law imposing 
certain conditions on the attainment of the goal. 
It cannot be suppressed by violence, e.g. by 
suicide ; the evil lies deep in the will to live, and 
only the suppression of this will by means which 
take a form akin to art, morality, and religion, 
can put a stop to the vicious circle of the wheel 
of life. 

The same paradox is inherent in popular Chris- 
tianity, and is acutely felt 2 And the popular solution 

1 " Speak to Him thou for He hears " 

2 E.g. Twelfth Night, Act i. Sc. 5. Fool: "The more fool, 
madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven." 


is not unlike the solution of Schopenhauer's 
Buddhism. It presses itself on the earliest reflec- 
tion, and we may state it in the words in which 
Plato refers to it. " We mortals are here on duty, 
and must not withdraw till we have our orders/' l 
Heaven, we understand, though much better than 
what we have, would be forfeited by the attempt to 
grasp at it prematurely. And if our enquiry presses 
behind the details of the " scheme of salvation " and 
we ask, " But was the Fall itself a part of the 
scheme of salvation, and is a world with sin and 
atonement a better world than one without them ? " 
it seems as if different views may be taken as to 
what a typical Christianity should answer. For 
Christianity, no doubt, sin is the greatest of evils 
the evil ; and the victory over it the object of the 
world. But it would seem that for a Christianity 
which has the courage of its opinions the idea of the 
victory involves the idea of the Fall, and the answer 
would be that the scheme of salvation, involving 
finiteness and sin, was essential to the nature of 
God and the perfection of the universe. Speaking 
at the level of reflective orthodoxy, it would appear 
hardly possible to admit that anything so deep- 
rooted as the connection of the doctrine of the 
Trinity with the Incarnation and the Atonement 
should be considered as an excrescence on the plan 
of the universe or an arrangement contrived in time 
to remedy an incidental aberration. Thus we are 
brought in sight of the philosophical conception, 
which has frequently been applied to the inter- 
pretation of Christian dogma, that finiteness is 
essential to true infinity, and that the two are 

1 Phaedo, 62 B. 


continuous and interwoven, not exclusive and an- 
tagonistic alternatives. 1 

It is from this point of view that we have to 
adjust our 'conceptions of the defectiveness of the 
self and of self-consciousness. We are, broadly 
speaking, to enter into the idea that finite experience, 
though itself defective, is neither an accidental dis- 
turbance of the Quiet, 2 nor a regrettable deviation 
from the Perfect. The absolute or infinite should 
present itself to us as more of the finite, or the finite 
at its best, and not as its extinction. More, not in 
time nor in quantity, but in completeness, in progress 
along the path of continuity which is indicated 
by the nature of things. It is at bottom a logical 
blunder to hold as obvious truth that merely to 
annul the finite is to affirm the infinite, i.e., that 
merely not to be in the finite world is logically and 
per se a presumable gain. In logical phrase, the 
bare negation has no significance. To be nearer 
perfection than on earth must mean, if it is to mean 
anything, not merely to be rid of terrestrial life, but 
to have realised it and more. 

The above treatment of the relation of self and 

1 The only important difference between my view and Dr. 
McTaggart's (Studies in Hegelian Cosmology^ sect. 243 ff.), is on 
the question of the attitude of Christianity to virtue and to sin (see 
especially sect. 255). Technically, to Christianity, I should have 
thought, virtue per se is nothing ; and no man can take part in a 
Christian liturgy except as, officially, a sinner. It is an overstrained 
feeling, but not wholly false to the Christian attitude, which makes 
men sing " Doing is a deadly sin ; Doers shall be damned." I was 
much struck by a passage in some novel, where a child says to 
a respectable and worthy old gentleman, " Of course I know that you 
are a bad, bad man." "Why, my dear?" "Because I heard you 
say so in church on Sunday." 

2 Caliban upon Setebos. The Christian idea of a " state of pro- 
bation " is at least an attempt to furnish a logical nexus between 
finiteness and perfection, though the need of probation remains 


not-self in self-consciousness is in harmony with 
these ideas. As in the antithesis of morality and 
religion, so in the antithesis of self-consciousness 
and what is more than self, it is our conviction that 
a positive continuity can be exhibited, and that the 
defects of the given not merely necessitate trans- 
cendence but positively indicate its nature. It is 
after all not the bare negation by a not-self, but 
reconciliation with it and expansion through its 
response, on which self-consciousness in its fulness 
depends. Satisfaction and sacrifice, which for us 
are opposite examples of the same fundamental 
structure, 1 must both contribute of their nature to 
the complete experience. And such an experience 
would possess and absorb into its being all that 
finite selfhood exists to achieve, self-maintenance in 

1 Page 242 above. 



i. IT seems desirable before going further to make "Man 

1111 i itself " 
an attempt at stating simply and clearly what beyond 

appears to us to be the fundamental nature of the TU It is 
inference that carries us beyond ourselves to affirm j^drodf 
an absolute being. It is not merely the logical out- factof life - 
line of the argument that needs explanation ; it is 
what this, rightly understood, involves the whole 
estimate of the relative value and significance of 
different provinces of experience, and the question 
where we are to look for that which will most help 
us to appreciate tthe whole. It is here that current 
opinion seems so seriously defective, and that even 
first-rate metaphysical speculation hardly shows full 
appreciation of the resources open to it. 

The doctrine of a rational reality transcending 
the given has been subjected to two main forms 
of criticism, the one aimed at the rationality of the 
real, the other at its transcendence of the given. 
The former may be summed up in three words of 
Bergson, the phrase which he loves to reiterate, 
" tout est donnd " ; the latter was first expressed by 
Aristotle in his criticism of Plato's form of the good, 
and continues to be urged by considerable thinkers 
to-day. The latter is the subject of the present 

257 S 


chapter; the former will be discussed at a further 
point in our argument. It will be time enough to 
show that freedom and initiative are one with the 
rationality of the real when we have sho'wn that a 
real transcending the actual is the very substance 
and spirit of our experience. 

The archetype, then, of one-half the later criticism 
of absolutist theory may be found in the impatient 
observation that Aristotle has more than once let 
fall with reference to the Platonic doctrine of Form, 
" What on earth can they mean by ' the thing itself/ 
as e.g. i man himself/ [or more strictly ' itself], if, as 
is the case, the definition of man itself is the same 
with that of man ? " l 

What, indeed ? If things as given to us, or man 
as we have experience of him, can have their nature 
defined, so that the definition shall include self- 
consistently all that they are, and nothing beyond it, 
what more can we possibly want? If that is all, 
frisck zu\ let us set down our definitions of man 
and of nature in terms adequate to our experience 
and to which our experience is adequate, without 
internal incoherence and external reference, and be 
done with troublesome speculation. 2 

But, as we all know, here the difficulty begins. 
If you set down a description of man as he seems to 
be, you find that his self what gives character to 
the appearance, and is needed to understand it lies 
outside what you have portrayed. If you now try 
to define or describe, coherently and intelligently, 

1 Ar. Ethics^ i. 6. 

2 Of course no one would suggest that this was Aristotle's real 
attitude. I suppose it is one of the perplexities of Aristotelian inter- 
pretation that Aristotle appears so naive when criticising Plato, while 
so profound in himself. 


the self of man, or indeed of anything, you find that 
you have got far beyond what we actually possess 
in our experience. The moment we enter upon the 
reflective Study of man, we learn that his individu- 
ality, his self-identity, lie outside him as he presents 
himself in time. 1 His nature, according to Green's 
phrase which goes to the root of the matter, is in 
process of being communicated to him. 

Now if all this is so, there seems to be a sufficient 
reason why things themselves, or man itself, 2 should 
be contrasted with things and man as prima facie 
given to our experience. The "self of man " or of 
things will not be a reduplication of their given 
being, but will be that way of being in which, in 
Platonic language, they can really be, i.e. can main- 
tain themselves, can experience or be experienced 
without contradiction. And if this way of being 
proves to be very different from the ways which 
were the first to be suggested and accepted in our 
interpretations of experience, that is only a case of 
the universal destiny which is manifest in all growth 
and education ; and even if the character which 
things bore in our immediate world seems to be 
absorbed and to disappear in their fuller realisation, 
this is a characteristic for which there is the strongest 
every-day analogy in the relation of our common- 
place perception and sentiment not to the most 

1 See e.g. Nettleship's Biography of Green, pp. 27, 114, 136. It 
is the same on any view of the nature of the true self. Cf. Bergson, 
Evolution, p. 2 1 8 : " Nous ne nous tenons jamais tout cntiers. Notre 
sentiment de la dure'e, je veux dire la coincidence de notre moi avec 
lui-mme, admet des degre's." 

2 This is not, or not merely, a question of approaching the special 
form of consciousness which we call the consciousness or experience 
of " self." The self of anything as Plato meant it the form in which 
it attains stability and consistency is a standard with reference to 
which even the awareness of selfhood has to be judged. 


remote abstractions, but to the full concrete appre- 
hension of what life contains. Ultimately, of course, 
an absolute must be all-inclusive, and even impotence 
must find a place in it. c 

But nevertheless, to any mode of reasoning 
which rests on accepting as final what we imagine 
to be first given, whether immediate experience or 
divided personality, it is a fair rejoinder, and one 
not nearly enough relied upon, to say, "There is 
nothing in the world worth having, doing, or being 
which does not involve a self-transcendence, and an 
enormous self-transcendence, of the type which you 
deny." Think of the attitude demanded of one by, 
say, a masterpiece of art. You say you do not want 
an Absolute in which you would not recognise your- 
self. But you scarcely recognise yourself when for 
a moment Shakespeare or Beethoven has laid his 
spell upon you. It is a difficult matter to deal with 
truths, which, as it sometimes appears to the present 
writer, every one accepts, and no one believes. And 
perhaps the most efficacious shelter of disbelief is 
the observation that there is nothing new in them. 
But there would be enough of novelty were we to 
believe them in bitter earnest. 

Thus it is largely in obedience to commonplace 
prejudices that interpreters of Plato have agreed to 
find in hfm a recognition of two worlds. 1 The really 
fundamental point for him I take to have been that 
there was and could be only a single world, and that 

1 If we will have it that it is unhistorical to credit Plato with a 
monism, then we should understand him better by adhering to his 
own figure of a triplicism or quadruplism as in the divided line, or 
more, as in the progression from unity to plurality of, say, the 
Philebus \ we should thus see more clearly that none of the lower 
phases are solid against the whole, so as to form par excellence a 


what we commonly presume to be a world is not 
one at all, not possessing the features which belong 
to the self of anything, to a stable and coherent 

The prejudice which expresses itself in the 
popular interpretation of Plato and the popular 
conception of idealism is really the same which 
levels to-day the reproach of Agnosticism at the 
critical effort to establish the nature of a world 
which could be taken as real. We have the given, 
it seems to say, and why go further ? You can get 
to nothing concrete or actual ; you admit that you 
cannot possess the experience in which you say 
your Absolute consists ; why dissolve what you have 
by hostile criticism when it leads to nothing beyond ? 
So with the votaries of Personality. Metaphysical 
analysis seems to them to go further and fare worse ; 
to abandon or dissolve the solid facts of individual 
life and will and the self, and to reach no assignable 
result which can be put in their place. It seems to 
them a gratuitous abandonment of the substance for 
the shadow. 1 

All this is supposed to be rooted in common 
sense, in every-day thought and feeling, and it is 
not surprising that it should assert itself strongly. 
It is really rooted, not in common sense, but in the 
attitude most opposed to common sense, that of 
common sense theory. There are two points, how- 
ever, that should be borne in mind with reference to 
its latest form. 

One of these is the substantive unity in the 

1 It does almost seem to me, though I feel strongly how likely I 
am to be wrong, that even so wise and accomplished a philosopher 
as Professor Pringle Pattison argues with this naivetd in Man's Place 
in the Cosmos. 


history of philosophy of that point of view which 
takes us beyond the given, or what the first inter- 
pretation assumes to be the given. There is a 
tendency to be lost in the details, and to ibrget that 
when we reject this way of looking 'at things we 
have to meet not merely this or that modern writer, 
with his special form of dialectic, but the whole 
position of idealistic philosophy from Plato down to 
living thinkers, which is in the main perfectly simple 
and direct. And the other is the deficient disposi- 
tion to appeal for corroboration and explanation to 
the nature of our best experience itself, and to its 
progressive difference from what is prima facie 
given. Metaphysic itself to-day appears to be 
infected with this diffidence, and to be in conse- 
quence too deeply imbued with prejudices resting 
on prima facie appearance. I will deal with the 
two points just mentioned in the two following 

2. The essential argument of metaphysic might 
r be described in general as an argument a contingentia 
mundi. And the failure to recognise the true nature 
of this argument and its identity in all Idealist 
philosophies, depends ultimately on an inadequate 
conception of logical determination. If, one might 
almost say, if we have settled it as a matter of 
principle that a conclusion cannot transcend its 
premisses either in certainty or in content, then we 
can never admit the central position of metaphysic. 
All the commonplace analogies, such as that water 
cannot rise higher than its source, 1 or that you 
cannot get more out of a box than you put into it, 
are wholly hostile to the nature which metaphysical 
1 Pringle Pattison, Marts Place in the Cosmos, p. 207. 


analysis finds in rational procedure. Whether or 
no it is correct to say that Aristotle held some 
reasoning to be analytic, it is certain that his 
definition* of the syllogism describes in so many 
words the synthetic character by which thought 
builds up its world, " Discourse in which certain 
things being posited, something else than what is 
posited necessarily follows on their being true." 1 
And we may add, what the theory of induction has 
made clear, that in the conclusion the premisses 
become not only more significant, but more certain. 
It will be objected that this is only the case if the 
conclusion affirms a fact independently verified, for 
the explanation of which a particular premiss is 
demanded to the exclusion of any other. And it 
would commonly be denied that there is any such 
relation between a conclusion and its premisses when 
the premisses or inductive hypothesis have not been 
shown, by the trial and rejection of a number of 
others, to be the only ones that are compatible with 
the required conclusion. 

I am convinced that such a view underrates 
the continuity and fails to apprehend the essence 
of logical process. 2 What really happens in any 
inference whatever is that the data and premisses 
are brought together in a new whole, and by reason 
of the new combination their respective limitations, 
as isolated factors, are pro tanto removed, and a new 
character is made explicit, which belongs to them in 
their new combination. Now it is impossible that 
such a new character should not bring with it a 

1 Joseph, LogiCy p. 225. 

2 See author's Logic, 2nd eel, ii. 159, 171, and for a statement 
of the opposite view add to the reference there given Joseph's 
Introduction to Logic^ pp. 485-6. 


step towards non-contradiction, and new contacts 
with the general whole of experience ; it is imposs- 
ible that a new meaning read into a proposition, a 
new application of a purpose, a new sensitive fibre 
developed in an emotional disposition, should not 
affect the issue of its truth completeness or stability. 1 

This, then, is the nerve of logical determination, 
viz. the removal of error or contradiction by means 
of a positive union in which data or premisses 
destroy each other's defects, and give rise to a new 
totality which transcends its factors. This is the 
essential process of experience throughout, and in 
all its kinds, and when traced and analysed in pro- 
positional form it reveals itself as logic the creative 
and originative nexus of mind as such. It may be 
made explicit, as we have argued above in Lecture 
II., under the principle which, when abstractly 
stated, is called the principle of non-contradiction ; 
but, as we have seen, this principle is simply a 
formulation of the life of the whole, and is not 
subject to the formal limitations which its abstract 
appearance may suggest. I will restate this point 
in a few words. 

First, 2 you cannot escape the application of the 
principle by what might be called a logical quietism. 
You cannot say, " If I affirm little or nothing, I am 
safe from being forced forwards into self-transcen- 
dence." For all negation, all exclusion, rest, as we 
know, on affirmation. You can never satisfy the 
principle which demands consistency, so long as 
anything remains outside your system. The nega- 
tion which puts it outside carries an affirmation 

1 Cf. Bradley, Mtnd, Ixxi. 335 note. 
2 Cf. ibid. Ixxii. 494 ff. 


which must bring it inside. A vacuum or nothing- 
ness, or an " I " or an " is " reduced to the merest 
point, are not self-consistent by force of emptiness, 
but are ne^ts of contradictions. Each is entangled 
in a congeries of relations, and yet, claiming no 
explicit content, it has no power to unify or organise 
them. 1 It is an old argument, but it needs to be 
insisted on in view of the notion that the principle 
of non - contradiction can be satisfied by mere 
emptiness, and has no driving-power towards the 

Secondly and more particularly, therefore, as we 
mentioned in Lecture I., 2 the operation of the prin- 
ciple cannot be restricted to the maintenance of the 
propositions whose denial involves their assertion, 
as when we say, " There is no truth." That is to 
say, it cannot be so restricted unless we have 
learned to discern this characteristic, in its real 
meaning, in all the great provinces of experience, 
and more distinctly as they are greater. 

We are apt tc^ think that within these provinces 
the spheres of our ordinary informal experience 
and interest we can deny this and that, without in 
any way shaking the general framework of our 
world ; and therefore we are apt again to be misled 
into supposing that here we have to do with a lower 
order of certainty than that attaching to formal 
principles with little apparent content. But as I 
attempted to show above, 8 this apparent freedom to 
deny is only possible because in every such negation 
so very much more is asserted than is touched by 
the negation's immediate content, so that the 
negation asserts affirmative truth without itself 

1 Braclley's Appearance, p. 364. 2 Page 48 ff. 3 L.c. 


being false. For when we make negative obser- 
vations in the world of historical fact, or of beauty, 
or of morality, our negation is in every case founded 
upon the affirmation, as a whole, of the \frorld within 
which we are making a denial. In every negation, 
then, and not solely in that of certain formal pro- 
positions, an affirmative content is asserted. The 
difference is, that a negation which can be true 
asserts immensely more than it denies, while a 
negation which must be false the negation of an 
a priori proposition affirms only what it denies, 
and nothing more. In the former case we are 
pointing out a contrast or distinction within the 
content of some enormous general affirmation ; in 
the latter we are addressing our negation to the 
whole affirmation of our world as such. But if in 
the former case we were to attempt a parallel 
procedure to that which we appeal to in the latter, 
we should obtain the same result with substantially 
better justification. If we were to say, not "that is 
not well done," but " there is 130 morality " ; or 
instead of "that is not good art," "there is no 
aesthetic perception," we should be convicted of 
self-contradiction in the same manner and degree as 
if we had said, " There is no truth." l As we realised 
the meaning of our negation, the world of morality 
and of beauty would spring up and reaffirm them- 
selves as at once the condition and contradiction of 
our denials. The fuller experience, in spite of the 
room it leaves for negation in defining the system 

1 It might be rejoined that "there is no truth" claims to be 
truth, while " there is no goodness " only implies or involves the 
being of goodness. But I think the difference is only one of degree ; 
the fundamental point is the impossibility of denying what makes the 
fact of your denial possible. 


of its members, is more truly supported by the 
principle of non-contradiction than the simple and 
abstract proposition. It is really because we cannot 
conceive Ourselves denying the complete world of 
our experiences that we are obliged to hold the 
simplest a priori truths to be affirmed in their 
negation. They have to be affirmed because 
they are the world at its minimum, with only " a 
single neck." But non- contradiction has really 
a stronger purchase, the more there is to lose by 
contradiction. 1 

This, then, the positive and constructive prin- 
ciple of non-contradiction in other words, the spirit 
of the whole is the operative principle of life as of 
metaphysical thought. We might call it, as I said, 
in general the argument a contingentia mundi, or 
inference from the imperfection of data and pre- 
misses. And it is this, essentially, and overlooking 
differences of degree, in virtue of which alone we 
can at all have progressive and continuous experi- 
ence, whether as* inference, or as significant feeling, 
or as expansion through action. It is this through 
which my perception of the earth's surface makes 
one system with my conception of the Antipodes, 
or the emotion attending the parental instinct passes 
into the wise tenderness of the civilised parent, and 
the instinct itself, as we are told, develops into the 
whole structure of social beneficence. 2 And it is 
this, only further pursued, that forces us to the 
conception of the Absolute. I am aware of no 

1 Compare the author's discussion of the relation between " posi- 
tive " and " negative " freedom. Philosophical Theory of State, pp. 
143-6. It is the full and positive conception that is the basis of the 
empty and formal, not vice versa. 

2 M'Dougal, Social Psychology^ p. 79. 


point at which an arrest in the process can be 

This, then, is the fundamental nature of the in- 
ference to the absolute ; the passage from the con- 
tradictory and unstable in all experience alike to the 
stable and satisfactory, the pepaiov. It is the transi- 
tion which is carefully worked out for every side of 
life in Plato, and which has formed the framework 
of serious philosophy ever since. It is misappre- 
hended if we call upon it to put us in possession of 
an ultimate experience which is ex hypothesi incom- 
patible with our limited being. What it will do for 
us is much more relevant to the transformation of 
our lives. It exhibits to us in their relative stability 
and reciprocal suggestions of completeness the pro- 
vinces of experience which comprise the various 
values of life ; it interprets the correlation of their 
worth with their reality, and of both with their 
satisfactoriness to the soul. We put the whole 
enquiry in a wrong perspective, and lose its truth 
and its significance, if we make some special form of 
human destiny the unspoken interest of our argu- 
ments ; if, one might s'ay, when we refer to the 
Absolute we are really thinking of Heaven. We 
should not expect metaphysic to predict terrestrial 
history; and still less, therefore, that which lies 
beyond the grave. What it may do, and in the 
hand of the masters has always done, is, starting 
from any datum, no matter what, to point out what 
sort of thing is in actual life which is in the 
Absolute now as ever the higher and more stable ; 
and what is the more defective and the more self- 
contradictory ; and to indicate the general law or 
tendency by which the latter is absorbed in the 


former. In this way, it seems true that it " gives us 
hope," but it does not seem true that it does not 
give us knowledge and guidance. " Higher, truer, 
more beautiful, better, and more real, these, on the 
whole, count in the Universe as they count for us. 
And existence, on the whole, must correspond with 
our ideas. For, on the whole, higher means for us 
a greater amount of that Reality, outside of which 
all appearance is absolutely nothing." 1 

3. We have seen that, from a logical point of The higher 
view, the criterion of self-maintenance, degrees of 
being, or non-contradiction applies not merely to ^d 

fundamental abstract principles but, as Plato applied and to the 
it, to the several worlds and levels of concrete inci 
experience. It holds good, we have seen, of signi- 
ficant sensation as in beauty, and of feeling in 
the sense of emotion, or of pleasure and pain, 
no less than of strictly logical structures, such 
as science and philosophy, or of the ideas which 
operate in morality, in social behaviour, or in 

Now all these types of experience are phases of 
individual living, stages in which the " individual " 
maintains himself in different modes and degrees, 
and with different achievements in the way of com- 
pleteness and consistency. And therefore it seems 
all-important when discussing the nature of the indi- 
vidual to draw into evidence their main character- 
istics, and to avoid acquiescing in conceptions of 
ourselves adopted from our first reflections on the 
apparently separate human being wte er geht und 
steht. It is obvious that if we take our idea of the 
individual from what he is at the minimum of his 

1 Bradley's Appearance, p. 550 ; cf. p. 560, and above, p. 19. 


conscious being, say in the state of fear or ineffec- 
tive desire, we shall get a wholly different reading 
of his nature from that which will suggest itself if 
we take into account the social aesthetic br religious 
consciousness and their characteristic or their highest 
development. And further, identifying degrees of 
reality with degrees of being or self-maintenance, it 
seems fair to take, as under one pretext or another 
is usually assumed in ethical theory, the fuller self 
for the truer self. And from this simple considera- 
tion, which many will call an elementary platitude, 
very serious results appear to me to follow, which 
are habitually neglected. The individual, then, 
does not attain the maximum of individuality in his 
exclusive self when he feels himself repellent against 
others. And if personality is taken in the strict 
sense of the character of being a subject of rights 
and duties among other similar subjects, then per- 
sonality itself is only possible in virtue of an indi- 
viduality which already transcends it. For there can 
be no system of rights and duties, except in virtue 
of an identity of wills in which rights and duties 
become a mere machinery of daily life. You cannot 
coerce the individual and organise his life within a 
system of " persons" except on the ground of a 
consciousness on his part which at bottom desires 
to be coerced and to be organised. So individu- 
ality, the principle of reality and the consistent 
whole, takes us on beyond personality in the strict 
sense, beyond the consciousness of self which is 
mediated by an opposing not-self, into the region 
where we go out of the self and into it by the same 
movement, in the quasi-religion of social unity, in 
knowledge, art, and in religion proper. And in all 


these experiences, as the repellent self-consciousness 
diminishes, and the sense of unity with the world 
and with man becomes pre-eminent in all these 
individuality is strengthened, and the self, though 
less in opposition to a not-self, is more itself, and is 
more at home. And when freedom and spontaneity 
reach their climax in religion the self no longer 
insists on its exclusive claim, and the whole being 
goes out together into the service which is perfect 
freedom. In all this there is nothing that is not 
familiar, but the result of it for the theory of per- 
sonality or individuality does not seem to be readily 
apprehended. It is plain that the height of indi- 
viduality is to be looked for in experiences which 
raise to the acutest pitch the sense and fact of 
identity with man nature and God. And if we ask 
for a definition or identification which will give us 
the individual finite being, per se, so that we can say, 
this much and no more is he, and at this level we 
have him and can estimate his separate value, 1 there 
is nothing of the Jcind to be found. If we take him 
at his best he exhibits quite other features than 
those which his normal being tempts us most to 
emphasise, and if we could take him as he really is, 
it may be again that the best we know of him would 
be wholly left behind. 

At any rate, to repeat the point precisely, two 
things seem made out. First, the minimum of 
individuality has not, any more than the minimum 
meaning of a word, 2 any claim to be accepted as the 
normal and determining standard. In such ques- 

1 Contrast McTaggart on " Individualism of Value," Interna- 
tional Journal of Ethics , July 1908. 

2 I refer again to the discussion of freedom, Philosophical Theory 
of Slate, l.c. 


tions as that of the communicability and objectivity 
of feeling, or of the identity between human souls 
or of the continuity of the maximum experience of 
the self, there is no justification whatever'-for making 
our commonplace sense of impotencb, isolation, or 
self-will the basis of our theories. The formal 
separateness of " individual " centres of experience 
is progressively outweighed by their material iden- 
tity of content and emotions, and if we were to base 
our theories on what human beings are as they sing 
together, or fight on the same side, or sacrifice 
themselves for those dear to them or for a cause, or 
think with the full power of their intelligence, the 
difference in our attitude would not be one of idle 
sentiment alone, but would be a logical and meta- 
physical difference of immense significance. It 
would consist in the emphasis laid on identity of 
content and system in which different selves are 
one, and in which the usually unrealised continuity 
of the single self with itself also ultimately lies, as 
against the differences of organic sensations and 
limits of immediate experience determined by im- 
potence, which appear to be the grounds of dis- 
tinction that keep " a mind " apart from others, and, 
for the same reason, from itself. And, as is sug- 
gested by a modern view on which I have com- 
mented before, the self, as that which is our unity, 
the good of life, and that for which we care, would 
turn out to lie not in a consciousness of the not-self 
but in a content or quality of being, which, as the 
view referred to admits, is most completely realised 
when the antagonistic consciousness of the not-self 
is at its minimum. This set of notions would give 
a wholly different lead on the problem of conscious- 


ness of self in the Absolute from that which is the 
outcome of taking self-consciousness as a reflec- 
tive awareness of self, dependent 1 on an adverse 

And, secondly, this comparison of the higher 
regions of experience with each other and with 
those that are less complete enables us in principle 
to understand the relation of the less to the more 
inclusive and perfect conditions of mind as a world, 
and thus to meet one of the fundamental difficulties 
in the conception of an absolute experience. Such 
an experience, we say, includes and absorbs the 
experiences which we possess severally includes 
them positively and in a fuller form of each, yet 
without reproducing them in their separate distinct- 
ness. I am inclined to think that the difficulty of 
in any way conceiving this relation as between any 
given conditions of mind and any others is the 
main hindrance to grasping the notion of a con- 
tinuity between our defective self and a perfection 
transcending it. No one, it seems, is unreasonable 
enough to make it a fatal difficulty that we do not 
profess by metaphysical argument to attain and 
come into possession of the perfect experience. 
But there is a natural scepticism as to the con- 
ceivability of our alternating and seemingly hetero- 
geneous moods and phases of mind being fused, 
absorbed, and transcended in any single mode of 
experience that could really be continuous with all. 
How can they be contained in it ? How and under 
what conditions can the partial moods, which are 

1 Taylor's Elements of Metaphysic, pp. 340, 343, 350. It is 
noteworthy how the positive view tends in these passages to supplant 
the negative. 



really in it, subsist apart from it under the conditions 
of finite being ? l 

This difficulty can, I believe, in principle be 
removed from the point of view on which we are 
now insisting. 

We are saying, then, that the clue to the nature 
of individuality lies in the contrast between the 
forms of mental life in which self-transcendence is 
at its minimum with those in which it approaches 
its maximum. There is uprima facie difficulty due 
to the difference between true self- transcendence 
and the alienation from self which lies in the uncon- 
sciousness of limitation or impotence. Obviously 
the latter is almost perfect where the limitation and 
impotence the de facto alienation from self are 
extreme, 2 while a great measure of true self-trans- 
cendence, as in some types of religious emotion, 
may be accompanied by an acute and despairing 
sense of impotence and bondage. But the standard 
should be the amount of genuine self-identification 
with the content of reality ; the accompanying con- 
sciousness of bondage or of freedom is so wholly 
relative to the range of the self's outlook that it 
might in some cases be taken as an indication that 
varies inversely as the fact. 

Passing over this difficulty, then, as only apparent, 
we can see that in the normal case our less complete 
attitudes are absorbed and united in those which are 
more complete, and tend to reappear in their frag- 
mentary character as our impotence is revealed by 
relative or absolute diminution of mental or bodily 

1 An instance in which the fact and interpretation of this absorp- 
tion is all-important is the advance in Hegel's Logic^ from Cognition 
to the Absolute Idea. See McTaggart, Commentary^ sect. 288, and 
my notice, "Mind," January 1911. 2 Bradley's Appearance, I.e. 


force. As life becomes more finite, in short, our 
attitudes tend to become alternative and successive 
rather than fused and solid. It is a simple and 
necessary consequence of the grades of our im- 
potence, in a world which, though one in principle, 
is full of diverse aspects, solicitations, and oppor- 
tunities. The only real difficulty is to see how in 
principle the aspects and attitudes can be fused or 
absorbed into one, and not merely blended or con- 

In the first place, we must remember that our 
phases and attitudes never are wholly severed ; that 
man is never in any phase purely feeling, purely 
practical, purely moral, aesthetic, intellectual, or 
religious. There is one kind of unity it is a 
familiar topic before the evolution of differences ; 
there is another, we hope and contend, as they are 
absorbed and unified in perfection. But also in the 
intermediate region in which we live, where the 
differences are very marked and insistent, there is 
always the unity of feeling in which the self has a 
certain solidarity with itself, with others, and with 
nature. So that there is always a basis of repose, 
a faith and purpose and appreciation uniting the 
man with somewhat beyond him ; and you do not 
and cannot get, for example, morality apart from 
religion the reliance, that is, on the particular will, 
judgment, and sense of duty, apart from the social 
and the cosmic basis of life, which imply man's 
reliance on a strength and wisdom beyond his 

Bearing this preliminary point in mind, let us 
consider the relation of morality, theoretical cogni- 
tion, the aesthetic attitude, and what we commonly 


call religion, to the more intense and inclusive forms 
of the religious consciousness. 

Religion, like other forms of experience, has 
many modes and levels, and because of this, a single 
answer to the question how it is related to science 
and philosophy can hardly be given. In its primi- 
tive form it seems to show but little analogy to the 
scientific or speculative consciousness ; l in its 
developed and intermediate forms, in the civilisa- 
tions known to history, it seems, if anything, hostile. 
So, too, in its relation to art and to morality, there 
is plenty of ground in many of its stages for pro- 
nouncing it hostile, or at best indifferent, both to 
one and to the other. Still, as we have just seen, 
actual life can never allow its activities to become 
wholly detached from one another, and the logical 
connection between them which the nature of con- 
sciousness implies never wholly ceases to exhibit 
itself in the manner of their interdependence. Even 
the myths of the savage, as we are told to-day, are a 
first effort at interpretation of th$ appearance of 
things, ultimately of the same nature with the hypo- 
theses of science. t 

Thus it is a question of convenience and degree 
how we estimate the relation, say, of philosophy and 
religion par excellence. But undoubtedly we can 
find experiences in which the two have come 
together, or rather have not been separated, and 
are, or have come, together, with very much more 
besides. If we choose to adopt the name of reli- 
gion understanding that it is capable also of many 
inferior applications for that frame of thought and 

1 According to a certain view of Magic and to the theory of 
Animism some kinship is traceable. 


devotion which Dante, for example, expresses as 
his ideal, then we shall be able to illustrate the 
unity of a highest experience, and the necessity of 
its dissociation according to the degrees of finite- 
ness and impotence. 

In Dante's religion, for example, we have the 
suggestion of an experience in which (a) as it is 
religious par excellence the individual finite being 
feels his will and emotions absorbed and trans- 
formed in the perfect will, which is also his will. 
Yet (b) inseparable from this unity, but distinct 
within it, there is a side of morality. The supreme 
will is realised through conflict ; and pain and evil, 
and with them effort and aspiration, are present 
potentially in the finiteness by which the individual 
contributes to the divine perfection. And when I 
say " potentially " I do not mean that they "might 
be present " but are not. I mean that they are 
present as a characteristic of the religious experi- 
ence in question, a depth or tension or seriousness 
which depends $>n the holding together of its con- 
stituents in a way analogous to the survival of 
desire in satisfaction. 1 And this characteristic, if 
experienced in relative isolation, owing to the 
obscuring of other aspects of the whole, could 
reveal itself as the effort, or in extreme cases the 
despair, which belongs to the moral attitude taken 
by itself and unqualified. 

And further (c) it is an integral part of this 
religion that the sensible universe is apprehended 
as a revelation of the Divine order, an apprehen- 
sion which includes the completest realisation of all 
that the aesthetic attitude can mean ; and (d) what, 
1 Cf, the argument of Lecture VI. sect. 3. 


taken apart, would be the theoretical or speculative 
intelligence, as all things are seen in God, has also 
the completest satisfaction, and its need for non- 
contradiction throughout experience is thoroughly 

Now, of course it may be urged that even this 
highest religious experience is not one which most 
of us at any rate can actually possess ; that merely 
to describe, as we have done, its constituent factors, 
in the language of our separate ways of behaviour, 
is to abandon the conception of its unity ; that if its 
unity were complete, the separation of the experi- 
ences would have disappeared ; and that if they are 
traceable as separate, the characteristic imperfection 
and self-contradiction of each are not done away. 

I do not believe that this is a relevant criticism. 
It belongs to the general type of thought which may 
be described as logical pessimism, a method funda- 
mentally eristic, which proceeds by the juxtaposi- 
tion of extreme cases in the absence of the analysis 
which would exhibit their continuity. It is thus 
that pain, pleasure, evil, personality are exhibited 
as hard units, repellent and unyielding against the 
claims of perfection and totality. But what is here 
relied on is analysis, sustained by the truth of living 
experiences. No man is confined even at a single 
moment within the limits of a single mood or type 
of behaviour; every man has experience of being 
aided by greater characters and intelligences or by 
great emergencies to surpass his habitual self, and 
to apprehend the effect of an exaltation of his whole 
being upon the currently distinguished elements of 
his finite consciousness. In these experiences we 
only apprehend through life and feeling the truth 

vii CIO^fIESl SQUAD^KffA 279 

on which the philosopher^analysis insists when, for 
example, he points out that abstract morality cannot 
and does not exist per se, but that in logic as in 
experience its sharp antagonism between ought and 
" is " implies and possesses a deeper basis, in which 
what ought to be is one with what is. 

And now our point does not seem hard to under- 
stand. We assume a finiteness, consisting in various 
kinds and degrees of impotence, to be the condition 
of existence for a being capable in principle, say, of 
the religious experience we have described. It is 
not hard to see how the logical elements of such a 
beatific vision should persist or stand out in relative 
isolation, according to the nature of the impotence, 
and the type of emergency with which it is con- 
fronted. We can see, surely, every day, that the 
finite mind, whose life is in succession and in choice, 
will not be able to hold on all at once even to the 
highest mode of consciousness of which in principle 
and on occasions it is capable. But this is no 
hindrance to the fundamental truth that what it does 
hold on to, what shows, as it were, through the mist, 
is both of one logical texture and of one emotional 
tissue with that which relative emphasis and dis- 
tinction has for the moment, or for part or for the 
whole of an age or a lifetime, withdrawn from its 
distinct apprehension, The facts are obvious and 
familiar, though their importance is apt to be unre- 
cognised. It is plain that when engaged in one 
thing we cannot be engaged in another, and that 
what we are doing or suffering at the moment com- 
mands our mood and our mental attitude. In 
moments of moral difficulty we are full of effort, 
preoccupied with the sense of wrong in the world, 


the sense that the next move is with us, and that 
good and evil rest upon our shoulders. In moments 
of detached analytic labour say, when occupied in 
experimental research we necessarily set aside the 
"relativity" of the "external" world to some kind 
of knowledge or apprehension, and treat it ad hoc 
as a self-existent reality which we have to take as 
given. In moments of religious exaltation of the 
commoner and narrower type, our minds are with- 
drawn into a mood of repose and absorption, in- 
volving a faith which excludes the temper of 
research, and the attribution of independence and 
full reality to the world apprehended through sense- 
perception ; and into an attitude of trust and resigna- 
tion which, it may be, does less than justice to moral 
endeavour and responsibility, and yet represents a 
logical implication apart from which such endeavour 
and responsibility would be torn up by the roots. 
All these limitations are defects in the several 
moods and attitudes themselves, but defects in 
some degree inevitable to their existence in finite 
subjects, whose life is carried on by succession and 

The matter is made much easier to grasp when 
we remember what we insisted on as a preliminary ; 
that we never do realise in actual living the dissocia- 
tion which we postulate alike for purposes of theo- 
retical analysis and in the rough nomenclature of 
every-day life. We never are purely intellectual 
without volition, nor moral apart from being reli- 
gious, nor aesthetic without practical or theoretical 
interest. Each of these attitudes, indeed, is in and 
by itself an instance and example of all the others as 
well as of itself, although their central characteristics 


are not its central characteristics. This familiar fact 
is highly significant of the inherent unity of all 
experiences which our impotence merely disguises, 
and the problem is to give it its value without 
making it into a ground of failure to recognise plain 

Thus the connection of things is obscured and 
loosened by our finiteness, but it is not done away ; 
and we are able, if we attend, to see how our moods, 
alternating apparently at random, are in truth the 
limbs and features of fuller forms of mind, left out- 
standing in seeming separation through the mist 
that limits our particular world. 

" Well then," the reader may say, " will you 
plainly tell us what you take the individual finite 
being to be ? We have hitherto supposed him to 
be a single and permanent spiritual unit, having as 
his minister a physical body, but with a nature or 
essence of his own apart from this, perhaps inherited 
from other souls, perhaps unique and eternal ; with 
a power of initiative which we are in the habit of 
calling will, activity, spontaneity, a power depending 
on this essence and not on the suggestions of ex- 
perience, and possessing to an indefinite extent 
ability to arrest, modify, and initiate bodily pro- 
cesses. In fact, we have conceived the soul to be 
like a whole living man, and the body to be like a 
machine which he directs ' like a boatman in his 
boat/ Probably, we have thought, he outlives his 
body. At any rate, the being and destiny of his 
soul, those of a thing which is itself and nothing 
else, are distinct and exclusive against those of 
other souls as much as the bodily life-history of a 
man on earth is distinct from and exclusive of the 


bodily life-histories of other men. This is at least 
clear and decisive. If it is not right, what do you 
put in its place ? You seem to volatilise the indi- 
vidual into a sort of logical progression of ideas and 
emotions, always passing out of itsalf into, as it 
were, another theory, as a thought can blend with 
and be absorbed in another thought within the 
limits of a single mind. Is this what you mean ? 
Is it not then a man's principal interest and value 
that he is permanently he and no one else, a self- 
complete being, not composed out of the outward 
world, but over against it, a rival or superior power, 
liable to sin and failure, but not essentially incapable 
of perfection while remaining what he is ; and, as 
one of the constituent members of the universe, 
having a weal and woe of his own, which and the 
like of which, in him and in others distinct from 
him, determine the perfection and imperfection of 
the world." 

And the answer is, first, negatively, that there 
are three analogies in the challenge just stated, all 
of which should be avoided, or at all events tran- 
scended, in our conception of the individual. 

And in the second place, affirmatively, that we 
want to think of the individual primarily as mind. 
And we must learn to interpret "mind" positively, 
in its own right, by what it is and does. The 
temptation is overwhelming to suggest comparisons 
and analogies either from external objects or from 
isolated phenomena within the sphere of mind itself. 
But though we may help ourselves by these, partly 
as suggestions, mainly as contrasts, what we really 
need is to accept the significance of mind on its 
own merits and as sui generis, not as a " thing/ 1 


nor yet as a mere power or attribute of a thing (say, 
of body or of brain), nor again even as a " life," 
however attractive the analogy may be but as a 
" whole " df a special kind, with a structure and 
concreteness cff its own, only to be appreciated by 
experiencing it where there is a " more " of it, and 
entering into the characteristic differences between 
the more of it and the less. 

i. First, then, we do not want to think of the Three 
individual merely on the pattern, a of a thing, ft of 
a legal personality, 7 of a self for reflective self- 


consciousness. J hin ?* 


a. We are aware, no doubt, on reflection that a Person, 
thing in external nature is not self-subsistent and reflec 
would be nothing by itself. I do not mean merely sciou< 
apart from the apprehending mind, but apart from 
the context and reactions of other things. But the 
implication by which the analogy of a thing affects 
our idea of the soul (nobilissimae substantiate)? ego, 
or self, is that of an identity behind and supporting 
diversity, but nofcentering into it or constituted by it. 
The soul as assumed in the conception of metem- 
psychosis is a sufficient instance ; it is a trans- 
ferable thing, compatible with any body and with 
any set of experiences. In the face of such a notion, 
based on an extreme assumption of numerical 
identity, to speak of the identity of the souls or 
selves inhabiting at the same time different bodies, 
or of the diversity of souls within one body, seems 
wholly unmeaning. It is like speaking of the 
identity of a chair and a table which stand side by 
side, or of a chair which becomes a table from time 
to time as the fancy seizes it. This is, I imagine, 

1 Bacon. 


the feeling with which many people first hear of 
multiple personalities within a single body. 

We feel it hard, on the other hand, to assign 
concrete and individual value to an icleal or an 
experience. But some effort in this" direction was 
made inevitable once for all by Kant's criticism of 
rational psychology, and by Hegel's emphasis on 
the idea of subject as opposed to substance. 1 The 
active form of totality within a certain mass of con- 
tent, a life of self-transformation on the part of such 
a mass towards the riddance of contradictions, is the 
sort of conception we require ; and the analogy of a 
thing suggests to us nothing more than unaccount- 
able persistent identity heightened to exclusiveness, 
which just leads us astray. 

/3. The term person or personality has all sorts 
of meanings, and has been made the vehicle of what 
are meant to be the highest claims on behalf of the 
individual nature. The individual, it is argued, if 
he is to have value, if indeed he is to be anything 
at all, in the strict sense of being,- must distinguish 
and be aware of himself, so that he can be an object 
to himself, and therefore an interest and a source of 
aspiration after perfection. No doubt the require- 
ment is sound in principle, and for us, for our moral 
activity and our social obligations, is true in its 
accepted form, involving personalities which are 
exclusive and more or less repellent. The person, 
as a subject of rights and duties, is essentially the 
individual in society, as defined by law ; and, as we 
said above, the legal personality already presupposes 

1 The idea of Subject, implying the Subject-object relation, is 
itself not final but it affords at least a clear line as against the idea 
of substance. 


a stage of individuality which transcends it. Legal 
personality represents the social machinery, the 
mechanism of definite co-operation. But the social 
spirit which sustains it must be beyond the system 
which it sustains. You could not secure recog- 
nition for a system of obligations unless the minds 
which accept them were united in a purpose of 
which the obligations were corollaries. And the 
social spirit itself is not the final form of individuality 
even in our experience. Thus, no doubt, the indi- 
vidual must at least be a person, as, at his minimum, 
he must have the self-identity of a thing. But if 
personality means rigid systematic limitation as 
against other persons, and a union with the whole 
which is only partial and indirect, individuality must 
be capable of taking a form in which the negative 
may play a more affirmative part. 

7. We should not interpret individuality as limited 
to a self-consciousness reflected from the contrast 
with a not-self. Our main point in conceiving Indi- 
viduality is to rpaintain its freedom ; its power or 
essential nature of self-transformation in obedience 
to the logic of the whole which operates in it. We 
do not want to be burdened with the negative 
approach, and to say that when we are most fully 
entering into the content which best unites us with 
the whole and with ourselves, we are ceasing to be 
individual, because we are beyond the reflective 
consciousness of self against not-self. Individuality 
is positive and constructive ; and if self-conscious- 
ness is negative against the idea of self, individuality 
must not be limited by being construed in analogy 
with it. Diversity or affirmative negation will play 
its part in the system of contents into which indi- 


viduality develops ; but that is a different thing 
from a contradictory negative in the form of a not- 
self resisting the expansion and affirmation of the 
system of the self. 

Mind is ii. Secondly, then, we may use all these analogies, 

but we must not bind ourselves by them. What 
w e can say affirmatively is that the individual, as we 

world." know him, is mind, and a mind. The meaning of 
his individuality centres on the sense in which he 
is a mind. For he is this really in two disparate 
senses, by negation and by affirmation, and the two 
are not in harmony. His mind is one, because it is 
united in itself, and also because it is exclusive 
of others. But the principle through which it is 
united in itself is not in harmony with its exclusive- 
ness of others, at any rate in the sense in which 
it does actually exclude them. Its exclusiveness, 
judged by the principle of its self-identity, is a 
defect. 1 The individuality or distinctness which 
depends purely upon this is external and self-con- 
tradictory, connected with the positive unity only by 
the corollary that unity and power go together, and 
where power ceases, unity must also find its limit. 
If a man has more power of comprehension and 
inclusion so that less is outside him, and that what 
is outside him is less outside him, his own unity and 
individuality is so far and for that reason not less 
but greater. A mind then is a mind, not through 
a principle hostile to the nature which makes it 
mind, but through a realisation of that nature, to 
the imperfection of which realisation the imperfec- 

1 Contrast Ward, Naturalism, ii. 167: "Individuality consists 
precisely in this impossibility," viz. the impossibility of the presenta- 
tions of each of several subjects becoming accessible to the others. 
(See Varisco, op. cit. p. 37.) 


tion of its unity is correlative. The conditions of 
psychical oneness, such as qualitative continuity of 
feeling and logical connection of ideas and purposes 
merely cany out on a small scale what is necessary 
to constitute a unity of mind. But there is no 
reason to limit this unity to any special complex of 
feeling and experience, and in fact it is not so 
limited. The best general description of the nature 
of mind is to call it a world ; and the world which 
constitutes a mind is not limited according to any 
hard and fast rule. It has been found suggestive 
and convenient, for example, to speak as if the 
principle of individual distinctness were " one mind, 
one social function. " But obviously this is a quite 
unreal simplification of the facts, unless we reduce 
its meaning to what is true enough ; viz. that it is a 
serviceable ideal to regard the content of a single 
mind, however complex, as constituting a single 
conation. 1 Consciousnesses are of all degrees of com- 
prehensiveness. They are centred par excellence 
no doubt in a range of externality which a single 
body focusses for a single mind each to each ; but 
this immediate centredness is no ultimate limit for 
their comprehension ; and there are many conditions 
under which it might truly be said that a single 
mind is constituted by and controls more bodies 
than one. In a word, then, we are to think of the 
individual as a world of experience, whose centre is 
given in the body and in the range of externality 
that comes by means of it, but whose limits depend 
on his power. He is a world that realises, in a 
limited matter, the logic and spirit of the whole ; 

1 It would be hard, however, to show that the contents of two or 
more minds could not together constitute a single conation. 


and, in principle, there is no increase of compre- 
hension, and no transformation of the self, that is 
inconceivable as happening to him. Whether he 
even continues to be a self in our limiled sense of 
the term is a matter of degree. Why and how 
there come to be these separate microcosms which 
we call finite selves, or (improperly) individuals is a 
question we cannot answer. But we can see that 
by its being so, a certain completeness through in- 
completeness is attained. Every degree, and every 
distinct centre or origin of individuality or compre- 
hension necessarily constitutes a different vision and 
interpretation of things, and through all these in- 
completenesses a totality of differences must emerge 
which, so far as we can grasp, could not be attained 
in any other way. 

It is suggested, as we noted above, that the 
unity of the individual lies in a purpose or a conation. 
And for a being which is finite, whose life is there- 
fore in time, and its world more or less self-contra- 
dictory, the element of purpose and conation cannot 
be absent. But this way of speaking seems con- 
nected with what we have before designated as the 
negative approach. For a purpose or a conation, 
in general, is nothing more than the operation of a 
dissatisfaction or a contradiction towards its own 
removal. But this is a very negative and unchar- 
acteristic conception. According to the nature of 
the contents which set up the dissatisfaction and are 
reconciled in the satisfaction you may have a conation 
of any degree of value from negative to positive. A 
conation may be a mere escape from discomfort, and 
end in indifference ; or it may partake in a greater 
or less degree of the nature of a positive develop- 


ment evoked by and evoking a response harmonious 
to the self. If we are to define the individual by 
his conation, it should be his conation as relative to 
some specjal type of fruition ; and it should be 
understood that the content in which the individuality 
is based, no less than the completion which its 
nature demands, characterises and determines the 

What we call " the individual " then is not a fixed 
essence, but a living world of content, representing 
a certain range of externality, which in it strives 
after unity and true individuality or completeness 
because it has in it the active spirit of non-contra- 
diction, the form of the whole. It is not a series of 
mental occurrences, nor a power or attribute of the 
brain. It is, on the contrary, a higher concrete than 
the body, which enters into it and is its instrument 
of communication with spatial objects, but in being 
so is itself only a small part of the spatial theatre as 
we perceive and conceive it. The structure and 
conditions of unity of a single mind, under normal 
conditions and par excellence, are plain and definite. 
They are nothing mysterious, but just what they 
are ; a continuity of interest and identity of content 
and quality maintained in ways which are analysed 
by psychology. There can be no question, normally, 
of doubt as to where one self ends and another 
begins, 1 and no suggestion that selfhood is a trivial 
or unreal thing. Nevertheless, we breathe a freer 

1 The abnormal phenomena are enough to show that the distinct- 
ness and identity of selves are matters de facto, a question of actual 
qualities and contents ; and this is what on a sane theory we should 
expect, and gives a far higher interest and value to selfhood than if 
it were a mysterious isolation, imposed by destiny inexplicably and 
without degrees. 



air when we realise it on the analogy of a concrete 
thought, held together and kept apart by what it is 
in itself, and by nothing else in the universe ; and 
when we have banished the conception ,pf a thing 
whose limits are fixed, and which is, characterised 
and limited by another nature behind and apart 
from the experiences which grow up within it. 



i. IT is a doctrine in favour to-day, with speculative 
thinkers of high rank, that the judgment of value 
cannot be logically supported ; cannot, as I under- 
stand the contention, be shown by logical process values - 
to be right or wrong, and therefore, cannot in prac- 
tice, except through some misconception, be modified 
by criticism or argument. " Every idealistic theory 
of the world has for its ultimate premiss a logically 
unsupported judgment of value a judgment which 
affirms an end of intrinsic worth, and accepts thereby 
a standard of unconditional obligation." l " When 
a judgment of value is asserted to be ultimately 
true, it is, of course, useless to seek for a proof or 
to demand one. It must be either accepted or left 
alone/' 2 We may go back indeed to Mill, " Ques- 
tions of ultimate ends are not amenable to direct 
proof. Whatever is proved to be good must be so 
by being shown to be a means to something admitted 
to be good without proof. n3 

1 Pringle Pattison, Marts Place in Cosmos, p. vii and p. 225. 

2 McTaggart, Int. Journal of Ethics^ July, 1908, p. 434. 

3 Utilitarianism, p. 6, and note the well-known passage a few 
lines farther down, " There is a larger meaning of the word ' proof,' " 
etc. With this cf. Sidgwick, Methods of Ethics, 6th ed., pp. 420-1, 
where he suggests a process of argument directed to produce a 
modification of an ultimate estimate of value. The definition of a 




This doctrine, understood in its natural sense, 
seems wholly adverse to the principal doctrines of 
Plato's philosophy, as also to Aristotle's treatment 
of the question of the end for man. And it is im- 
possible not to feel a certain surprise that, without 
any kind of notice or any argument advanced, the 
leading conceptions of such thinkers should be 
altogether set aside. The contention in question 
is indeed capable of being understood in more than 
one subordinate sense, and not as flatly denying the 
principle which we claim to share with Plato. 
Possible I proceed first to consider how far in such sub- 

natc rdl " ordinate interpretations the doctrine retains its 
meanings p O ' m ^ an( j t j len to se t ou t the substantive contention 

of it. 

opposed to its full and natural meaning. 
judgment i. It is true, in a sense, that every one must treat 
"prl 1 L himself, at any given moment, as infallible. To 
suspend action or to declare himself in doubt cannot 
help him ; for by either course he positively affirms 
that the occasion is one which demands it. The 
necessity is not confined to action, c nor is its exist- 
ence an argument for Pragmatism. A judgment, 
when made, holds the field ; it can only be called in 
question by a grounded review of it, made by means 
of another and subsequent judgment. 1 This is so 
with all judgment, and therefore with the judgment 
of value. We are powerless, as a recent representa- 
tive of extreme Libertarianism has pointed out, to 
modify even our moral valuation otherwise than by 

man's Good in terms which demand a critical readjustment of his 
actual feeling by hypothetical considerations (p. in), and the re- 
quirement (p. 406) that the common end should " systematise human 
activities," seem both of them to open the question of the ultimate 
good to argument in spite of Sidgwick's tendency to make it a matter 
of Intuition. l Bradley, Mind, April, 1908. 


itself ; it represents what we are, as long as we are 
so. 1 Our will, he thinks, we can modify, but not 
our estimate of value. It is in the possibility of 
contradiction between these that he finds our free- 
dom and our \vrong-doing. 

And this fact, as we know by experience, we 
have to recognise. No argument can make sure of 
altering a man's mind. For purposes for which a 
particular person's action or judgment are important, 
we must argue under his principles and address 
ourselves to his existing attitude, his accepted scale 
of values, or else let it alone. 

But nothing of all this applies solely to the judg- 
ment of value. It is a consequence of the nature of 
judgment as such ; of its dependence upon mental 
structure. It is the same for theory as for practice, 
for speculation as for desire. And it does not, of 
course, exclude in principle the openness of all 
judgment to discussion and revision ; it only reiter- 
ates that at any moment we think what we think 
unless and until we see reason to think otherwise. 
It insists on what we have throughout maintained, 
that mind operates as a logical whole. 

Probably the recognition of this truth plays a 
part in the opinion we are discussing. " De gustibus 
non disputandum " ~ is a half-truth ; and is a principle 
which, so far as it is tenable at all, extends, as we 
have just seen, to cognition. It is not easy to 
remodel the framework of a mind. It is wiser for 

1 Mack, FrcihcitsUicoriccn, sect. 177. "Wir konnen nicht 
nach Bclicben wcrtcn, sondern mir so \vic gemass unsercr Natur 
geschehcn muss." 

" 2 In fact, nothing is more open to controversy than matters of 
taste ; there is nothing more constantly the object of it, and nothing 
in which education and argument are more effective. 


many purposes not to attempt it, but to become 
all things to all men. 

Value ii. Again, emphasis may be laid on the distinction 

which we have just held irrelevant, the "distinction 
rticised between cognition, and feeling or desfre. To value 
a thing, it may be said, is to desire it or to find it 
pleasant, or at least to think of it as possessing the 
properties which would under certain conditions 
excite desire or produce pleasure. All this, it may 
be urged, is a question of feeling, not of reasoning. 
Judgment may state that a thing pleases, but the 
pleasure is a fact; and reason, as Hume will tell 
us, cannot make a new fact. To judge a thing 
valuable is to recognise a fact, but not to create one. 
The valuation is antecedent to the judgment. 

And here, perhaps, appeal would be made to the 
fact that the discussion is about ultimate ends or 
values. Admit for argument's sake, it will be said, 
that we can by critical examination modify our 
conception of what things or characters are compre- 
hended in or flow from the ultimate end, still the 
valuation of something as ultimate comes first, and 
the further discrimination of what its nature com- 
prehends, rests upon and presupposes that valuation. 
The fundamental fact is that I care for some sort of 
thing ; then you may argue upon the consequences 
in which that fact involves me. But you cannot 
by argument undo my first sense of value, nor could 
you impart it if I did not possess it. If there was no 
feeling there could be no value. 

I do not doubt this last proposition, but it belongs 
to a very dangerous class of half-truths. 1 " If no 
knowledge, then no truth." "If no aesthetic sense, 

1 Bradley's Appearance, p. 405. 


then no beauty/' But so far we have only sine 
quibiis non, and the simple converses of these 
judgments (though the converse is not commonly 
held to bfi implied in the original), may be quite 
equally true, iind in these cases unquestionably are 
so. For instance, it is plain that if there were no 
values there could be no feeling. That is to say, 
unless in certain experiences our being was re- 
spectively less or more, had in it a less or greater 
reality or perfection, there could be no cause or 
reason for the immediate sense of heightened or 
lowered vitality. Thus no inference lies from this 
connection to the impossibility of arguing relevantly 
upon the conditions of the higher or lower perfection 
and on their presence in any instance. 1 We are not 
bound to show that argument can dc facto modify 
the feeling of value in a concrete case, though to 
show this supports the view that argument can have 
relevancy, but only to explain the relativity of 
feelings of value to a standard beyond them, 
e.g. to the mind's degrees of self-completeness or 

But as a matter of fact, experience and argument, 
which is merely a mode of making experience tell, can 
modify both the feeling and the judgment of value, 
just as much and in the same way as they can 
modify any mood or attitude of mind, cognitive or 

The whole question is really that of the connection 
between mediate and immediate experiences, and 
the assertion that no argument is possible about 
judgments of ultimate ends rests on a confusion, and 
a mistake. The confusion is between the immediate 

1 Bradley, Appearance^ p. 406. 


and the ultimate ; and the mistake is in holding the 
immediate to be above or below critical discussion, 
an idea already false of the immediate, and more- 
over transferred by confusion to the ultimate, of 
which it is much more false. 

It is true that before arguing upon questions of 
value, we must have immediate experience of what 
is meant by caring for something. We must have 
the judgment that something can be cared for, 
before we can develop it by considering what must 
be cared for more or less ; just as we must have the 
judgment that something is true or real, before we 
can develop a science of logic or metaphysic. But 
these necessary minima of experience are in none of 
the cases ultimate or fundamental ; they are merely 
the starting-points from which experience develops, 
starting-points of which the typical form is Hegel's 
place of departure in the idea of mere being. If we 
were to urge that worth or value is the power to 
satisfy an idea, and that, therefore, the content of the 
idea is prior to the conception of worth or value, we 
should properly be answered that our interest in the 
content of an idea is itself what is meant by value, 
and that this only shows that a standard of value is 
prior to the valuation of particular things. But 
granting the answer to hold, it is surely plain that 
the power of an idea to interest or satisfy us is not 
merely a brute fact, but a matter for logical estima- 
tion. 1 The ultimate or fundamental interest is 
certainly not the prima facie interest ; and in general, 
the immediate fact of interest, which gives us the 
idea of valuing or caring about anything, is at the 
opposite pole of experience from the ultimate or 

1 Bradley' s Appearance^ p. 406. 


fundamental interest in which we find by considera- 
tion that all our power of caring would be adequately 

And it* is not true that there is any purely 
immediate experience. Immediacy is merely a form 
which any content can take, and which is peculiar to 
none. It is not true that any form of liking, valuing, 
or caring is unaffected by the shaping of the 
whole of life, and by the critical reflection which 
shows us where fulness lies. And if this is so of 
immediate experience, it is immensely more so of 
ultimate experience. There may be some justifica- 
tion for supposing that you cannot be argued into or 
out of a simple experience of pleasure though most 
unquestionably in many cases you can ] but to 
suggest that it cannot be argued and explained in 
wluit lies the power of objects or of ideas ultimately 
to satisfy a mind in which power lies their value 
for a mind seems contrary to everyday experience 
as well as to the whole bearing of aesthetic, ethic, 
and metaphysics 

In case the above criticism should be based on 
some misunderstanding of the opinion criticised, I 
will repeat in a positive form what it is here intended 
to maintain, and what I take as the essential mean- 
ing of the view I am defending. 

2. It is admitted then (i.) that a man's judgment 
is his judgment, and binds him till he has altered it 
by a further judgment ; and (ii.) that before you can 
argue on the ultimate end or worth you must have 

1 I repeat, there is nothing in which the mind responds more 
readily to teaching and criticism than in questions of enjoyment. 
Neglect of this truth is one of the signal causes of bad education. 
To learn to like and dislike rightly is the essence of education, as 
the (/reeks maintained. 


experience of what it is to seek an end or to care 
for something as having worth. But (iii.) it is here 
maintained that these are merely the relevant cases 
of the general conditions which attend development 
of all experience whatever, cognitive no less than 
emotional or practical, and that they do not interfere 
with the essential nature of the logical process from 
the minimum to the maximum of experience. Such 
a process can always be traced within l the meaning 
or conditions of pleasure or satisfaction, or of the 
character which constitutes an end ; and the degrees 
of this meaning or character can be exhibited by 
logical argument, and can to a great extent be 
brought home and enforced by reflection, even with 
practical results. Every one must know that it is 
sometimes possible to tell a man, " Now you are not 
really enjoying yourself," and for him to admit that 
it is so, and to change his conduct in consequence, 
with satisfactory results. 

I repeat that before we can dismiss this con- 
ception of an identical criterion in t^uth, reality, and 
satisfaction we should have to deal with the whole 
argument by which Plato leads up to the form of 
Good or, what is the same thing, to the conception 
of a perfection of positive pleasure and with the 
substantially similar arguments as advanced by 
Aristotle. The principle of these arguments in a 
word is this, that positive pleasure and all satisfaction, 
as distinct from an intensity of feeling which there 
is reason to suspect of being illusory, depends on the 
character of logical stability of the whole inherent in 
the objects of desire, and that what in this sense is 
more real, that is, more at one with itself and the 

1 Appeamnce, I.e. 


whole (e.g. free from contradiction) is also the ex- 
perience in which the mind obtains the more durable 
and coherent satisfaction, and more completely 
realises it&elf. This consideration prescribes the 
nature of the ultimate good or end, which is the 
supreme standard of value, and cannot itself be 
measured by anything else. 1 The standard is positive 
non-contradiction, developed through comprehensive- 
ness and consistency. And by this standard any 
judgment as to ultimate end or value can be criticised 
or estimated. 

3. Hut, it may be urged, the facts are plainly i-:.\piana- 
against you. You say that degrees of logical stability, t mg 
of perfection, of reality, are the standard by which y a {^ ns. 
satisfactoriness, worth, and the character of being Im i )uttnce 

' J o pro-occu- 

an ultimate end, are to be measured. Now it is p^n, 

. means, and 

notorious that interest is selective, and that great ends. 
provinces of the highest and most perfect experi- 
ence, whether cognitive, practical, or aesthetic, 
may wholly fail to have value for the majority of 
minds, or so imich as to attract their attention. 
And if everything was for every mind as in- 
different as every experience in its turn is for 
some mind or other, then value would be word 
without a meaning. And, therefore, value cannot 
be measured by metaphysical perfection, but is purely 
relative to the feeling of particular sentient beings. 

This is an argument from dc facto impotence, on 
which our particularity, though not our individuality, 
depends. But we have seen that the nature of 
mind contradicts the fact of its impotence, and that 
it always is more than it is aware of being. 

1 Ar. Ethics^ 1101 b 10 on rt/ua and tVatvcra and Kant on 
Wurde and Preis. 


In the first place, then, as has been pointed out 
above, the total absence of interest is incompatible 
with the nature of finite mind. Such mind is 
involved and entangled in the world of txperience, 
and its degree of being cannot be divorced from its 
implication in the world of which it is a member. 
In principle, there must be interest and value 
where there is a mind a member of a world. The 
partial and apparent divorce between reality and 
value cannot be pleaded in support of the con- 
ceivability of a complete one. 

And in the second place this partial divorce itself 
means nothing more than that finite minds arc what 
we must call contingent in their degree and direction 
of development. Their interest, like their know- 
ledge and action, varies and stops short in ways 
which in detail arc unaccountable, but which in general 
we can see very well to be merely cases of their 
powerlessness. It is all-important, however, that the 
positive argument shows no signs of failure, though 
the negative corroboration can only be exhibited in 
part. Where we have interest, and so far as we 
have it, we have implication in reality; where we have 
more stable and satisfactory interest, we have more 
implication in reality. It is true that where more 
implication in reality seems to be offered, we do not 
always have more interest; it is obvious that our 
participation in the real must be limited, and the 
map of its limitations is for us in the main con- 
tingently determined. The general explanation of 
this is clear ; we are preoccupied by certain interests, 
whose contents are not such as readily to form a 
logical whole with certain others ; just as we may 
be preoccupied with certain theoretical principles 


which, as we hold them, refuse to coalesce with 
provinces of knowledge which prima facie lie open 
to us. 

But, it *nay be rejoined, there is more than this. 
Not merely different minds pursue different values, 
but a given mind may apprehend and be familiar 
with an object or activity of high logical perfection, 
but yet be relatively or completely indifferent to it, 
i.e. refuse to assign it value. The answer is 
practically the same ; the object in question is ex- 
cluded by its nature from forming a whole in its own 
right with the contents which have preoccupied 
the mind ; but it is pursued and receives attention 
in virtue of some interest extraneous to it, which is 
a part of that whole of contents, as a man learns 
up a repulsive subject for examination, or makes a 
living by work that he detests. 

It has been said 1 that in principle every man 
loves every woman ; but individuals may plead in 
excuse non-acquaintance, or special cause of dislike, 
or a limited capacity of affection which is already 
preoccupied. There is a truth in the joke ; and it 
applies more seriously to the individual's love of 

It is hard to know how far this discussion needs 
to be pursued. If we abandon the doctrine " De 
gustibus non disputandum " as surely every serious 
student or critic does abandon it, except in the 
sense that it is difficult to modify habitual likings 
the view we are disputing seems abandoned along 
with it. 

No one would advance the dc facto indifference 
of my mind or of his own as an argument against 

1 Oliver Wendell Holmes. 


the value of a scientific discovery or an artistic 
achievement ; and every objective standard of 
worth which can be suggested must ultimately be 
reducible to degrees of perfection. c 

AH 4. It would throw light on the nature of value if 

relative to we consider in what sense the proposition is to be 
understood that u all other values are relative to 

with values for, of, or in a person/* 1 Translated into 

"nothing * 

has value the statement that " Nothing has value except the 

but con- . ...,,.. r 

sdous conscious states of conscious beings it has often 

conscious revealed a tendency to generate corollaries hostile 

to the meaning with which Green or Kant affirmed 
it* This has certainly happened in so far as it has 

tions may y * A 

be sharply been pleaded in aid of Hedonism. 3 And another 

opposed. . . i r i i i r i 

interesting application of it has been made, from the 
literal statement of which I have no right to say 
that thinkers of Green's type are bound to dissent, 
but which appears to me to point in a very different 
direction from what is most characteristic in their 

The doctrine is this : 4 Nothing has value but the 
conscious states of conscious beings ; and the value 
of the universe has no unity but that of a sum of 
these values ; more obviously so if the universe as a 
whole is not a conscious being, but also in a great 
measure, even if it is. For still, even in that case, 
the values of the conscious states of finite beings 
are addible amounts, to be counted in addition to 
that of the universe as a single conscious being. 

1 Green, Prolegomena^ sect. 184. 

2 See Kant on Kingdom of Ends, and cf. his distinction between 
Dignity and Value, with Aristotle's (I.e. supra} between rifiia and 

3 Sidgwick, Methods^ 6th ed., bk. iii. chap. xiv. 

4 McTaggart, International Journal of Ethics ^ July, 1908. 


For those who maintain that the universe as a 
whole is a single experience, including the finite 
beings which are finite centres of experience, the 
discussion js of subordinate importance so far as 
regards the unity of value. But even for them it is 
still worth entering upon, both for the subordinate 
issue as to value, which on that hypothesis it still 
raises, and because the principle underlying it has 
an important bearing on the cognate question 
whether in truth the universe is conscious or not. 

To begin with, if we are speaking of all conscious 
states of all conscious beings, including all that is 
demanded for their completion, and all possible 
ways of their being or coming together, it would be 
true that within this totality we must find all that is 
of value. And this will, I think, be agreed to by all 
who accept the doctrine above referred to in Green 
and Kant, They might say on second thoughts 
that the word "person/ 1 if strictly taken, narrows 
the proposition unduly. But all would admit it, I 
believe, if for persons we read conscious beings. 

Does this take us at once to the doctrine that the 
universe has no value but the sum of the veilues of 
the conscious states of all conscious beings ? Not, 
I think, in the natural sense of the latter, and in 
the sense in which I gather it to have been pro- 
pounded. I take its point to be that the part-values 
are primary, prior to their sum, which is their sum 
and nothing more is determined by them, and is in 
no sense a whole or standard by which they are 
determined. The idea that the whole is single and 
primary, the source and standard of value, and that 
part-values are to be reckoned as determined by the 
character of contributoriness to it, is, I gather, 


intended to be rejected. The two statements might 
be read as having much in common ; for, it might 
be urged, according to both views the parts make 
up the whole, and the whole is made up qf the parts; 
so what can be the ultimate difference between 
them ? Yet those who think with Green or (I should 
suppose) with Mr. Bradley would probably accept 
the first doctrine (see p. 302), but not the second. 
The second assumes that the states could have value 
if they existed alone, and if they were in all respects, 
and were rightly considered as, states external to 
one another and without implication beyond them- 
selves. The first assigns them value in respect 
of what they imply, and of their not being, and 
not being rightly regarded as, states external to one 
another or to what they imply. The point is a little 
difficult, though of fundamental importance. If we 
assign value to any whole as a unit, it may be urged 
that values relative to this, though derivative from 
it, must in some sense be assignable to all factors 
which are in any way involved in the whole ; but 
then any such assignment does not imply any value 
in the factors taken by themselves. 1 It is a concep- 
tion fundamentally distinct from that of factors 
which have a value as such and per se> so that the 
value of the whole can be conceived as a sum of 
values which bona fide and primarily belong to the 
factors as such. 2 And this I understand, in its 
fullest disintegrating implication, to be the meaning 
in which the statement has been advanced. 

The difficulty which this doctrine presents may 

1 I am glad here to be supported by Mr. Moore's principle of 
organic wholes, Principia Ethica^ p. 27 ff. 

2 Mr. Moore, loc. cit.^ denies this assumption totidem verbis so 
far as applied to " organic wholes." 


be stated by means of a paradox. If you treat a 
state of consciousness of an intelligent finite being 
as simply a state of consciousness, you treat it as 
somethingwhich it is not. Its essence, as we have 
so constantly -reiterated, lies outside it. Its nature 
is to be a perfect world ; but in any given state this 
world is incomplete though implied. And the state 
of consciousness takes its value from the object and 
the individuality, which must be read into it in 
order to appreciate it, and which in actual experi- 
ence are never wholly disjoined from it. 

We will pursue this line of thought, and finally 
note its bearing on the question whether the universe 
is a conscious being. 

i. 1 There is a familiar argument by which con- states of 
sciousness is distinguished from the objective rela- n" s s i cl 1 f US " 
tions of the conscious being, such as those implied f^J^j^ 
in Truth, Beauty, Virtue, Freedom. You cannot, otyecuve 

J I m world, are 

this argument maintains, really and in the last resort meaning. 

. r . 1 . * less and 

z.e. if you precisely discriminate what you are valueless. 
doing justify a^preferencc for a state of conscious- 
ness which is true, or virtuous, or has beauty present 
to it, in so far as your preference is influenced by a 
care for these characteristics objective relations 
which you judge to attach to the state of conscious- 
ness. Your judgment of such relations, it is urged, 
is liable to error. Therefore, in formulating a 
preference for one state of consciousness over 
another you cannot, or at least you ought not to, 
take account of anything but the state of conscious- 
ness the condition of the mind at the moment 
in and by itself; and in thus taking account of it 
you must exclude all reference to the fact that you 

1 Cf. Sidgwick, Methods, ill. xiv. 4. 



hold applicable to it certain predicates, such as true, 
good, free, aesthetically right. These predicates 
are separable ; they depend on objects outside the 
mental state ; they do not lie within the four corners 
of the mental condition itself. 

If I understand rightly, what we have in the 
view I am discussing is this familiar argument, 
modified in a single point. The character of the 
universe, by which in objective relation to the 
mental state in question it is a ground of the truth 
or freedom or other characteristic ascribed to that 
state, is not here ruled out of consideration, but is 
admitted as a means to the character of the state of 
consciousness itself, which alone has value. 

But this will not suffice. The error of taking a 
state of consciousness in an intelligent being as in 
its nature confined to itself seems to be fundamental. 
You cannot dispose of its object as a mere means to 
its character. Its object is a partial apprehension 
by consciousness of its own nature ; it is a world 
continuous with but extending beyond it ; and you 
cannot value the fragment without an appreciation 
of the whole. Truth of a thought does not mean 
that a mental state is so, and that an object separate 
from it is also so. This may be the case, and yet 
the thought may be perfectly false. 1 Truth of a 
thought means, surely, that the thought is of a 
content and context to occupy a harmonious place 
in the whole spiritual structure of experience. But 
this character does not lie within the mental state, 

1 This is so in the case of a "true" conclusion from "false" 
premisses. Cf. also The Cloister and the Hearth, chap. xxvi. : " His 
sincere desire and honest endeavour to perjure himself were baffled 
by a circumstance he had never foreseen nor indeed thought possible. 
He had spoken the truth." See author's Logic^ 2nd ed., ii. 282. 


though it makes a great difference in the mental 
state. It belongs to it only as organised within the 
whole, according to the contrast which was drawn 
above. 1 t 

In a wore 1 , in valuing truth, beauty, virtue, and 
the like, we are valuing spiritual worlds, at once 
objective and subjective, and essentially continuous 
with greater worlds. Though given to and even in 
conscious minds, they are not states of conscious 
minds, nor is it clear, without special examination and 
proof, that the apparently particular consciousnesses 
to which they are given are separable existences 
either as against their own continuance or against 
other so-called particular beings. We may refuse 
to call such particulars individuals, and we may 
refuse to treat the true whole or individual as a sum 
of individuals. 

So much with regard to states of consciousness 
taken as exclusive of the objective world. 

ii. We may carry the argument further by com- YOU cannot 
paring the statejnent which places value in states of 
consciousness as such with that which at first we 
set beside it, which places value solely in " persons," 
or, as I should prefer to say, in individuality. individual. 

When it was maintained that all value was value 
in or for persons, this was because persons meant a 
capacity for being ends or worlds. Nothing else, it 
was thought, existed in its own right, or could be a 
focus or centre in which a complex of being could 
come together as fulfilling a plan. But, as has been 

1 It appears to me an important concession when the writer says 
that the self in a conscious state need not know the value of its 
state. It removes the valuation of the state from immediate feeling 
or judgment, and leaves it for some further standard what, if not 
perfection ? 


pointed out with reference to Bentham's valuation 
of pleasurable states, 1 and also 2 very ably, with 
reference to the analogy between the egoist's self, 
which he respects, and the moral cosmos? which he 
rejects, it is quite conceivable that in attaching value 
to the state of consciousness you may wholly lose 
the reference to the person, the unity, the idea of 
end or purpose (i.e. so far as concerns the egoist, he 
might as well deny his own totality as that of the 
cosmos). And this is prima facie the essence of 
any view which attaches value, not to persons or 
to individuality, but to states of mind. It is as 
drawn out above. You may value the states either 
as entities per se, or as implying a personality which 
is their whole, or world, or end. But in the latter 
case you are not valuing them per se ; and you 
could not value them as you do without compre- 
hending the personality to which they belong, or 
the world of which they are dependent fragments. 
The argument is the same, or stronger, if we sub- 
stitute individuality for personality, to avoid the 
narrower implications which attach to the term 
person. If all value is in individuality, then we 
must start from the fullest experience of it we can 
construct, and the valuation of particular states of 
consciousness will be secondary to that and deriva- 
tive from it. 

1 Green, Prolegomena, sect. 214: "It is not every person, 
according to (the Benthamite view), but every pleasure, that is of 
value in itself." 

2 Sidgwick, Methods, IV. ii. 6th ed., cf. pp. 124 and 381. It is 
worth noting that in Studies in Hegelian Dialectic, sect. 156, Mr. 
McTaggart sustains the ultimate reality of separate persons against 
that of particular moments of time. But if these latter are unreal, 
the states of consciousness which fill them must be also in the same 
degree unreal. 


The argument is strengthened for those who 
hold that succession in time is only an appearance. 
For in this case the particular state of consciousness 
has ultimeitely no separate being, 1 but all the states, 
as Kant said of the infinite moral progression qua 
viewed by God, are ultimately comprehended in a 
similar reality. But that which has ultimately no 
distinguishable being, cannot ultimately have a 
distinct valuation. 

iii. And the reversal of an argument 2 above YOU cannot 
referred to carries us further still. If a man denies 

his unity with others, it was asked, why should he ^^ 
assume his unity with himself? But, again, if he 
postulates his unity with himself, how can he deny 
his unity with the further stages of individuality ? 
There seems no reason for drawing a line at which 
the continuity is to break off, and prima facie the 
inference is to a unitary perfection lying in the 
complete individuality of the universe as a conscious 
being, which is the ultimate value and standard of 
value. To callit an end seems as dangerous as to 
call it a person ; but to regard it as an individual 
whole seems no more than is inevitable. This con- 
sideration travels outside the subject of unity of 
value, and refers to unity of experience. But it is 
impossible to exclude it here, because it is one of 
the consequences which show what slippery ground 
we arc on when we attempt to treat a state of 
consciousness as a state of consciousness and no 

For the same reason, on the hypothesis of a 
universe conscious as a whole, the separate valua- 
tion of its life and of the finite lives that enter into 

1 Cf. note 2, previous page. 2 Sidgwick, loc. tit* 


its life seems inconceivable, except in the secondary 
sense admitted above. The finite consciousness is 
finite because it stops short and does not come 
up to its own nature ; you cannot give *it a value 
except through and relatively to its' own nature, 
which is the whole. You cannot add the value 
which it retains, in spite of its shortcoming, to the 
value which it has in the complete being which it 
implies. If a thing, seen as you see it, is worth two, 
but properly seen is worth ten, you cannot add the 
two to the ten in counting its full value. 

iv. If, indeed, in the assertion that the universe 
is not as such good or bad, stress is laid on the 
"'good 11 peculiarity of these predicates as implying a quasi- 
but'the' 1 "' mora l estimate, a divorce between what is and what 

whole is ought to be, then on this point a measure of agree- 
always the ^ . .. f T r 1 1 1 

umt of merit is possible. It the universe is taken to be a 
perfect conscious being, then, judged comparatively 
to its members, and as giving and being the 
standard, it is relatively good and the fulfilment of 
all ideas. But in itself, though perfect, it is not 
good, because it is not on one side in the contrast of 
what ought to be with that which is not what it 
ought to be, but is in process of becoming so. Good 
and bad arc then not appropriate expressions by 
which to raise a question about it, but if it is raised, 
the universe must be pronounced good as opposed 
to bad. It is, however, though in the above sense 
not strictly good certainly not morally good in 
the ordinary sense yet perfection and the standard 
of all goodness and value. Strictly, you do not value 
it j 1 you value all else by it. Its value is the unit, 
and all other values must be adjusted so as to 

1 Cf. Ar. Ethics^ loc. cit. 


amount to it. And this I take to be so far the 
meaning of those who say that all value is in or for 
a person, just as it is the meaning of those who take 
all value to be ultimately one in the perfection of 
the universe. That all value is of conscious states 
of conscious beings as such would then be just the 
opposite of this contention. 

v. The treatment of the State l in this discussion instance 
is naturally analogous to the treatment of the is 
universe. And we may agree that here is an T 
experience rightly taken as typical of the higher . 

experiences. If the particular the individual in the one mind 

i -iii in a 

current but incorrect sense is to be the ultimate number 

unit of value here, he will have to be accepted as les * 
such throughout. If here we can see that individu- 
ality transcends the particular given consciousness, 
we shall be prepared for a completer transcendence 
as we pass to fuller experiences. For this reason it 
seems well to indicate our view of this matter. Is 
the value of a State in the full sense in the psychical 
successions forjning the several consciousnesses of 
the conscious beings who compose it, as addible 
amounts, i.e. starting with a value which each item 
severally possesses per se ? 

Our argument is the same as before ; in fact, in 
our previous argument, the State, with other high 
experiences, would enter into the sequence at the 
point where, in our view, the values of successive 
states of consciousness must be referred to their 

1 I use the term " State " in the full sense of what it means as a 
living whole, not the mere legal and political fabric, but the complex 
of lives and activities, considered as the body of which that is the 
framework. " Society " I take to mean the same body as the State, 
but minus the attribute of exercising what is in the last resort 
absolute physical compulsion. 


" unity in " a person or individual. The State, for 
us, is a phase of individuality which belongs to the 
process towards unity at a point far short of its com- 
pletion. We understand and accept th/^ warning 
that there can be no value in anything less than a 
personal consciousness, 1 "in any history of develop- 
ment of mankind as distinct from the persons whose 
experiences constitute that history, or who are 
developed in that development." 

But granted that nothing has value which is not 
in some sort a personal consciousness, the question 
is not settled how much more than its given self at 
any moment such a consciousness may imply as the 
unit of value to which it belongs. And first, we 
might well argue as in effect we argued above, 
when we said that in a personal consciousness we 
have already accepted a standard that goes beyond 
the states of consciousness of a conscious being. By 
a person, or a being partaking in individuality (even 
if we include in our idea animals and young children), 
we presumably mean some sort of a ^vhole ; and the 
states of consciousness as such are not wholes. But 
further, the real question is whether two or more 
so-called persons can be members of the same whole 
or unity for purposes of valuation. Are they to 
be valued as given, or do they, by forming an 
integral part of greater wholes, acquire a value 
completely other than that which they would prima 
facie possess ? I hold it at this point as was indicated 
above 2 a concession of enormous importance that 
the value of any state of consciousness is said not 

1 Green, Prolegomena, sect. 184. I make a reservation on 
behalf of the lower animals, in their degree, 

2 Page 307 note. 


necessarily to be known to its subject or to any 
actual judge. This seems to remove all compulsion 
to interpret the value as an immediate aspect of a 
given complex. It is consistent with the view that 
the significance and implications of the complex, 
however latent and remote to the ordinary spectator, 
are the grounds of its value. 

Let us view this question in the light of the 
Greek theory of society, at its best. Its famous 
paradox runs that the value of a society lies in its 
happiness as a whole \ l not in the happiness of the 
separate individuals who compose it. That is to 
say, if you supposed each individual to have the 
happiness which an observer, looking at him by 
himself, would be forced to assign as his highest 
happiness, and if you treated the happiness of the 
community as the aggregate of happinesses assigned 
by such a set of judgments, you would altogether 
miss the nature of the true happiness of the com- 
munity. " Happiness," I take it, here may fairly 
be said to eqiifil value, i.e. felt perfection. This 
you could only obtain by first judging the per- 
fection of a society as a unitary body of experience 
because it is in this alone that the individual 
conscious being is all he can be and then adjusting 
to this your estimate of individual perfection. 

Of course to value the individuals apart with full 
understanding would be equal to valuing them as 
fully unified, and the difference of the points of view 
would vanish, except that valuing states of con- 
sciousness as such could not properly equal valuing 
unified individuals. 

1 Plato, Rep. iv. init. Mr. McTaggart's contention might have 
arisen as a direct denial of the contention of Plato in this passage. 


The whole view rests on a denial of the position 
that "individuals" are a mere plurality, such as 
cannot be unified in their contributions to a common 
experience. Take, for example, the theory of the 
position of slaves ; which applies in principle to all 
imperfection and reciprocal supplementation of 
consciousness in all society whatever. The point 
amounts to this, that the social life and experience 
is that of one mind in a number of bodies, whose 
consciousnesses, formally separate, are materially 
identical in very different degrees. In value, there- 
fore, they severally take on the character of that 
to which they are instrumental, in as far as each of 
them, by thought and loyalty (not merely as a 
means), transcends its immediate self and is ab- 
sorbed in the total result. Thus the loyal servant 
of the statesman or scholar takes a value from the 
latter's work he is in and through it a participant 
in the perfection of the whole, just as the entire 
society is dignified and sanctified by the knowledge 
or beneficence or religion which f it respects and 
makes possible ; and is also, of course, brutalised 
and degraded by the sores and evils within it. 
The principle, I said, is universal. That it does 
not excuse the special incidents of slavery, is per- 
fectly true ; but its importance, first pointed out by 
Plato and Aristotle in respect of the child and as 
a partial theory of the slave's position is absolutely 
fundamental for the whole social experience. The 
life of any fairly harmonious household is a clear 
example of what I mean. It is possible for a con- 
sciousness to have its end, its explanation and value, 
in what it shares with another consciousness, and 
what is incompletely present in itself alone ; and, 


ultimately, all finite consciousnesses have it so. 
Not only the so-called lower are dignified by their 
respect for a dim apprehension of the achievements 
of the " higher." The " higher'* or so-called leading 
minds borrow much of their tincture of courage, and 
dutifulness, and self-denial, from their felt unity with 
the lower. 

God uses us to help each other so, 
Lending our minds out. 

All this is involved to a careful reader in the class- 
system of Plato's Republic ; and the foundation of 
it all is this, that no phase in a particular conscious- 
ness is merely a phase of the apparent subject, but 
it is always and essentially a member of a further 
whole of experience, which passes through and 
unites the states of many consciousnesses, but is 
not exhausted in any, nor in all of them, as states, 
taken together. 1 It is true that my state of mind 
is mine, and yours is yours ; but not only do I 
experience in mine what you experience in yours 
that would be consistent with the total independ- 
ence of the two minds but I experience it differ- 
ently from you, in such a way that there is a 
systematic relation between the two contents ex- 
perienced, and neither is intelligible or complete 
without the other. When you have admitted the 
unity of the person with himself, it is impossible 
to stop short of his unity with others, with the 
world, and with the universe ; and the perfection 
by which he is to be valued is his place in the 
perfection of these greater wholes. The principle 
that all value is value of individual experience is 
thus absolutely maintained ; the difference is in 

1 Appearance and Reality ) 2nd ccl., p. 526. 


what we call individual experience, and the point 
of departure in valuing* it. 

In all finite individuals there is self-transcend- 
ence, and therefore translocation of the point of 
reference in valuing ; but not all selfitranscendence 
is primarily social. It is therefore untrue to say that 
all good as such is social good, and it is well that 
this common incorrectness should have challenged 
criticism. It is the paradox of humanity that the 
best qualities of man himself, and the forms of 
experience in which he is most perfect, are not at 
first sight very widely distributed. Art, philosophy, 
religion, though they bear to society the relation 
above indicated, are not immediately concerned 
with the promotion of social relations, and are not 
specially moulded to the promotion of social ends. 
The doctrine which we have been opposing is prob- 
ably a reaction against the exaggerated claims of 
social good to be the only good, but it seems a 
mistake to push it so far as to deny that the State 
is a name for a special form of se^f-transcendence, 
in which individuality strongly anticipates the char- 
acter of its perfection. 

5. Thus, then, we admit that in the judgment 
n of value every man is in a sense infallible for him- 
se ^ ^ut on ty as ^ n evei 7 possible judgment. We 
their full agree that there must be experience of feelinjj 

nature, and *> r *> 

a state of before the judgment of value can be reasoned on; 

conscious- 111- i r i i 

ness has and that the unitary value 01 the universe ought 
within 1 It. not properly to be called goodness certainly not 
with an ethical implication but should be thought 
of as the completion of individuality, or as perfec- 
tion. And we understand that all which is valuable 
must lie within the whole of conscious experience, 


or the aggregate, or coming together in some way 
of conscious states of conscious beings. The ques- 
tion has been whether the judgment of value can 
be logically supported, and whether the whole which 
has value lies in the sum of the values of conscious 
states ; understanding that the states are taken as 
distinct and successive, and their values as addible 
quantities. The two questions appeared to be akin; 
because what is logically supported must involve 
a continuous principle as opposed to a collection of 
ultimates ; and the answer to both seemed to be 
that before you can judge of anything, you must see 
it in its full nature, and that the nature of any con- 
scious state of a conscious being is not to be found 
within itself, unless, by a reference to the whole, we 
have specially taught ourselves to find it there. 
Therefore we adhere to Plato's conclusion that 
objects of our likings possess as much of satis- 
factoriness which we identify with value as they 
possess of reality and trueness. And that is a 
logical standard, and a standard involving the 



purview i. OUR thesis in Lectures III., IV., and V. was 
what in old-fashioned phrase might be called the 
dependence of the finite individual upon the external 
or mec l ian ^ ca l world. It was what an enemy might 

and implies se t down as something akin to materialism and to 
of Naturalism. The fundamental conviction which has 
guided our discussion has been that the truth, or 
the real, is the whole. And our anxiety has been 
lest by neglecting any factor, by committing our- 
selves to any fundamental antithesis, we should 
ipso facto subordinate mind or spjrit to excluded 
elements, which, so far as excluded, must remain 
both hostile and superior. Little as it may have 
seemed so, therefore, our primary object and ideal 
has been that of freedom. For so far as our mind 
or spirit attempts to draw upon itself, in the narrower 
sense upon an inner self co-ordinately opposed to 
the outer world so far we are convinced it dis- 
guises and mistakes its own procedure, and converts 
the logic of the self into fallacy and superstition. 
We have been eager, at the risk of being misunder- 
stood, to shake off all bias and prejudice against 
special forms of appearance, except in so far as, 
taken in isolation, they claim an unreal predominance. 



It should hardly be necessary to point out that 
our materialism or externalism is materialism or 
externalism with a difference. We claim it as the 
fulness and the genuine purport of concrete idealism, 
and if it is offered in a shape that implies a reac- 
tionary temper, we unhesitatingly reject it. For 
us, the true nexus throughout is logical and syn- 
thetic, not causal in the popular sense in which 
causation is analytic a repetition of undifferentiated 
connexions. " Everything is what it is, and not 
another thing,' 1 so far as this, that the interdepend- 
ence of different appearances does not simply reduce 
one of them into another. For example, it is plain 
that the external world cannot be a self-subsistent 
entity. Hut it is one thing to exhibit it as the 
condition and the complement of spiritual being, 
and quite another thing to attempt to reduce it to 
mere inwardness, to subjective or psychical imagery. 
If it is urged that indeed everything is another thing 
or more than one other thing in the sense that 
appearances are transfigured by progressive experi- 
ence, this, no doubt, is a fundamental truth ; but 
it loses all sense and value if it is taken to suggest 
that differences can be absorbed without bringing 
anything of their former self to the transfigured 

Thus our type of Individuality has been from 
the first what we described as the concrete universal, 
or, more generally, as a world or cosmos. And so 
far from admitting that this principle makes con- 
cessions to Determinism, or to Materialism, or to 
Naturalism, in a sense hostile to Idealism or to 
spiritual freedom, our contention is that no other 
conception offers any loophole whatever by which 


Freedom can be saved, or a creative constructive, 
and initiative character vindicated for the self. 

After restating summarily the essence of the 
idea in question we will go on to justify our view 
of its connection with Freedom. * 

The essence of Individuality, it seemed to us, 
was to be a world in oneself. That a being, which 
has this character, must, moreover, be no other 
world than itself that the individual, so far as 
individual, is unique seemed to be merely a 
corollary from the ultimate ideal of organisation. 
Among finite beings the positive character of origin- 
ality is but little impaired by de facto overlapping 
or recurrence. It lies in what a man is, not in what 
he is not. 

The essence of individuality, then, is to be a 
world in oneself. And this holds good in its degree 
for the most finite "individual." In him, however 
incompletely, we see what it is to have experience, 
or, in the most general sense of the term, to be 
conscious. And we cannot use the ^erm "being" in 
its full sense of anything but the whole of a con- 
sciousness or an experience. Whatever else is 
(though it may in a derivative and secondary sense 
possess individuality, like a mountain or tree, 
assuming them to have no degree of conscious- 
ness), is only as a fragment or abstraction within 
these. We cannot attach any meaning to it except 
as some portion of the experienced or the experi- 
encing, or both in an undivided moment. 

This is, perhaps, common ground to-day, but it 
has a corollary which needs to be insisted upon. 
The character of self- completeness, of being a 
cosmos, carries with it its own mode of self-deter- 


mination and initiative. It is impossible to consider 
a being as constituted by a unity in diversity of 
content, and yet to suppose that the nature of the 
content is* to be indifferent, and is not to have its 
way in the responses and transformation of the 
whole. It is an old remark, but a true one, that 
our fears for freedom are due to wanting to learn 
to swim without going into the water, or, in more 
serious language, to a lack of faith in the Absolute. 
We desire to keep our individuality unspotted by 
the world, unstained by the content of life, and it 
is the inevitable result that we are driven to envisage 
it as the slave of circumstance. On the contrary, 
the conception of consciousness which is here set 
before us is, in general and in principle, that of 
a system of content, "come alive" according to 
certain arrangements by means of which the Ab- 
solute allows minor worlds, formally distinct, 1 and 
of many degrees of fulness, to constitute its union 
with externality, which union is itself. The over- 
whelming impression of such a law of arrangements 
subserving life, produced by the general survey of 
the organic world, and especially of the animal 
intelligence, cannot be set aside. The gradation 
of animal minds presents an insuperable difficulty 
to all theories which suggest that finite conscious- 
nesses are correlative each to each with persistent 
and self-subsistent differentiations of the Absolute. 
It is far more natural to suppose, what the plain 
facts seem to teach, that feeling or consciousness 
come where and in so far as they are demanded 
by content to be experienced, their appearance being 
conditioned by those peculiar phenomena of the 
1 We shall recur to this in the second series. 


external system which in innumerable degrees pave 
the way for the growth of microcosms. In this 
way something is realised not unlike what is 
demanded by monadism, viz. that evet;y possible 
gradation of reality must be occupied ; and the 
Absolute is enriched by experience of all conceiv- 
able grades and varieties of content. However 
this may be, the idea illustrates our point that a 
finite individual is in essence a cosmos which is 
a portion of the cosmos, bringing relatively to 
perfection and full experience that which in and 
through the correlated externality, the Absolute has 
to manifest and to appropriate. 

The relative lateness and artificiality of the ego 
or self, and the protracted discipline of a living body 
or succession of bodies which it presupposes, make 
for the same conclusion. The objections that have 
been brought against the idea of the " eternal self," 
though as objections they are, in my view, entirely 
without weight, yet serve to illustrate the point at 
issue. In a word, if we once admi{ the provisional 
reality of succession in time, there is nothing what- 
ever to be gained by antedating the higher appear- 
ances. They come, we must believe, when their 
conditions are present, and not before. The self 
is experienced when a persistent mental system has 
been developed, capable of opposition to a not-self, 
though it seems strange to say that it can only be 
felt in as far as such an opposition takes a hostile 
form. We might say, in a sense, that it is active 
before it is experienced, in the de facto unity of 
feeling, within which the unity of consciousness 
grows up. But all this is a mere distinction of dates 
of appearance. It is one thing, as Green constantly 


reiterates, to say how we reach the experience of 
the eternal self; the truth that we possess it is quite 
another thing. There is no doubt a perplexing and 
interesting; question, why the animal mind, in so 
many ways continuous with the human mind, should 
seem bound to arrest its development at a compara- 
tively early stage. It would be much easier to 
explain a more complete evolution. As it is, we 
can only accept the fact, but it cannot be a motive 
for any treatment of human experience which is not 
necessary per se to deal with the phenomena. Mind, 
we repeat, is best regarded as a cosmos, and as 
working out its behaviour by the logic of a 

2. A difficulty is raised at once by any such way objection 
of presenting the facts, which may be considered by 
the help of a criticism that has been passed upon 

Green's account of the self-conscious moral agent. dlffcr ; 

Y entiating 

Broadly speaking, it comes to this. Self-conscious- influence. 

J- l~ U 1 Wchold 

ness, according to Green, is a character or principle thescifto 
which is the same for all and in all moral agents. 1 h 
Between such individuals there is no difference but 
a difference of content ; for the self which experi- 
ences as well as that which is experienced, is content. 
Now an assignable difference of content even of 
character or of disposition goes back ultimately 
to data and environment, including bodily inherit- 
ance ; it may be called, in fact, a difference of 
circumstances. This being so, and the principle 
of self- consciousness being as such common and 
identical, it is argued that the differences between 

1 It seems clear that the same difficulty might be raised about any 
universal principle, e.g. about Bergson's "Life" ; and the solution would 
be closely analogous to that which will be offered here but subject 
to the limitation of the principle proposed. 


individuals are externally accounted for ; the self, 
in as far as it is distinctive, springs from circum- 
stance and not from its own initiative ; in short, 
what determines the individual to be such as he 
is comes from without and not from, within, from 
surroundings, in the wide sense explained above, 
and not from self-consciousness. And therefore, 
in a word, determinism triumphs ; the spiritual 
principle accounts for nothing distinctive ; the body 
and the circumstances make the man what he is. 1 
The criticism is, in sum, that according to Green's 
doctrine the difference between one self and another 
lies simply in circumstances. To this at first sight 
the rejoinder is obvious. " No, not in circum- 
stances, but in what a man makes of his circum- 
stances. Different minds spring from practically 
the same circumstances, and make of them wholly 
different worlds." We shall discuss the problem 
of character and circumstances more fully in a later 
Lecture. But it certainly seems as if against a 
resolute antagonist such an answer would not 
entirely hold good. 2 " Of course," he would reply, 
" things look like that; but the appearance can 
only be superficial. No doubt the difference of 
minds is one thing, and the difference of immediate 
externals another ; but the difference of minds, of 
interests and capacities, is itself, according to the 
hypothesis, dependent upon circumstances, and 
cannot be taken as created by the endowment 

1 Sidgwick, Green^ Spencer^ Martineau^ pp. 19-20. 

2 Unless, of course, one were prepared to suggest that each soul 
comes with a character previous to terrestrial circumstances and 
independent of it. But such a view seems superfluous and would 
not save freedom. The antecedent character thus brought down from 
heaven would itself be a mere circumstance. 


of self -consciousness, seeing that this is the 
common character of selves." 

Such a thorough-going deterministic interpreta- 
tion 1 canitot be met by any compromise. It can 
only be dealt with from a point of view more 
thorough than its own. 

We are hopeful that such a point of view is 
involved in what has already been advanced. We, 
following Green, do not wish or need to exclude 
" circumstances " from the determinant and dis- 
tinctive features of the self. The self, on the one 
hand, bears in its quality and content the banner of 
its place and time. It is what it includes. It is 
only finite, imperfect, self-contradictory, exclusive, 
through the impotence which causes it to include so 
little. On the other hand, its true and ultimate 
nature lies outside it, in the whole to its dependence 
on which the defects of its impotence bear witness. 
And it is actually through the impact of that whole 
in various forms, in all that we mean by struggle 
and circumstance, that its own nature is being 
progressively communicated to it. Therefore it is a 
mere observation ab extra to remark that all particu- 
lar given selves bear the identical feature of self- 
consciousness, which is in other words a conation 
towards the unity of a harmonious cosmos, or 
towards the completed system of an eternal self. 
The truth of this abstract generality respecting 
selves as such in no way tends to establish an 
abstract character for the partly individualised cona- 
tions in which concrete selves consist. The striving 
towards unity and coherence is the striving of the 

1 Sidgwick, of course, would not have accepted this view ; he 
would hold it to be a rednctio ad absurdum of Green's position. 


self as a living system of content ; and the fact that 
this content has its origin " without " is only a 
corollary of the central truth that every self is a 
special "within," and deals with some 1 " group of 
elements of that world-life in which 'all experience 
is one. 

In a word, then, we hold that no ideal of freedom 
lies in the direction of isolating the self from the 
world. Freedom lies in the direction towards unity 
and coherence ; and all that becomes one with the 
self is capable of contributing (even through 
apparent contradiction and the effort which it stimu- 
lates) to this satisfaction of the inherent logical 

Therefore, to the criticism, "Your individual 
conation takes its line not from a self-conscious entity 
within it, but from outward circumstance, which is 
given to the self, and not created by it," we reply, 
" That, on the whole, though we demur to the last 
five words, 1 is, as we understand the matter, what 
the self is there for and consists 'in to convert 
externality into inwardness, to elicit the conation, 
the need if we like, or if we like, the teaching, which 
underlies the circumstances out of which and by 
means of which it becomes a self. It is the work- 
ing, the ' logic/ of this relative totality of experience 
that, as we understand the matter, constitutes the 
freedom of the concrete self; which thus affirms 
itself as a part of the eternal deed in which the 
Absolute sustains its living whole of experience." 
objection 3. So much, then, for the reduction of individu- 
ality to difference of conditions. But the critic will 
return to the charge. Granted that the difference 

1 See sect. 3, below. 



of origin between different individuals, together Answered 
with the fact that this is rooted in the world beyond 
them, is no impeachment of the essential individu- 

ality of cash ; still, it will be urged, the fact remains Lo s ic - . 

' carrying its 

that it all corses from somewhere ; previously exist- past in 

! . 1-11- lts P resent 

ing circumstances, united in a centre which brings as m Art. 

no new positive element to combine with them, work 
out their inevitable resultant in combination with 
present conditions. It makes no difference, to use 
the terms of Kant's familiar argument, whether the 
sequence is physical or psychical ; the essential 
point is ^^determination, the power of a past, which 
is no longer a present, to prescribe what the present 
is to be. 1 Thus we seem to have Determinism 
intensified into fatalism ; and the action of an indi- 
vidual, and indeed the history of the world, is 
described as the rattling off of a chain of results 
inevitably decreed. " Tout est donne." 

It seems needless to insist at length on the answer 
to this difficulty, as it emerges from a consideration 
of the relatior^ of noumenon and phenomenon in 
Kant, or as it forms the essence of Green's doctrine 
of the eternal self. 

Those who are prepared to deny that a world of 
consciousness carries its past in its present, and 
that the logical determination of the outcome of such 
a present world, in the way in which a conclusion 
comes from premisses, is essentially different from 
determination by what is past and gone in the way 

1 It must be noted that, metaphysically speaking, the mere state- 
ment of this conception amounts to a contradiction in terms. How 
can a past, which is past and no more, determine a present which is 
present and no more ? But we grant that in physical causation the 
underlying unity, which is certainly presupposed, does not operate as 
a mind operates. 


of natural causation whether physical or psychical, 
will not be affected by any restatement of this well- 
known argument in its accustomed form. While to 
those who have in any degree grasped the way 
of working of a living mind or individual cosmos 
the relation of a want to a motive, of a motive to a 
volition, 1 of a volition to the structure of the self, it 
would be wearisome to meet with a reiteration of the 
familiar account. 

But an attempt may be made to present what is 
ultimately the same argument in a more aggressive 
and perhaps more universally applicable shape, 
determined by the recent speculations which tend to 
exclude logic and intelligence from life, creation, and 
initiative even from the "intuition" permitted to 
philosophy, which ought, surely, to stand on the 
whole to "intelligence" as Hegel's Reason to his 
Understanding. It has been said above and the 
assertion may have excited surprise that the whole 
recent tendency which separates imitation and in- 
vention, repetition and creation, fai^ most utterly 
and demonstrably in its treatment of the creative 
imagination of art 2 But the truth is that when you 
have broken in two the indivisible energy of reason, 
and assigned one part of it to likeness and the other 
to difference, 3 you have rendered both the one and 
the other utterly and finally impotent and incon- 
ceivable. We see this in the general view which 
condemns the logical intelligence to be at home 
exclusively in spatial considerations, in solids, in 
geometry, and to be repelled as by a foreign element 

1 See e.g. Green, Prolegomena, bks. ii. and iii. ; Stout, Manual 
of Psychology, p. 583 ; Mitchell, Structure and Growth of the Mind, 
pp. 400 and 485. 2 See p. 168 note. 3 Ib. 


when it comes to deal with life. We remember 
that a truer philosophy has suggested that so far 
from finding the organism unintelligible, man's 
reason can, strictly speaking, understand nothing 
else. 1 And we recognise in the account of artistic 
creation as a pure incarnation of the new and 
unaccountable the same irrational severance of 
identity and diversity which has been due, through- 
out the tradition in question, to working with like- 
ness and unlikeness 2 instead of with identity and 
difference. What the theory really means to say is 
that in artistic creation, in the work of genius 
and imagination, you have pure difference without 
identity, pure novelty issuing from no determinate 
connection, pure irrationality and unaccountableness. 
The work of art cannot be predicted, given its 
matter and its author. It is, in a word, beyond the 
reason and the intelligence, as life, in the specula- 
tions, we are referring to, is beyond logic. 

This is a less trite form of the controversy about 
Freedom than tjiat which deals with moral volition 
as such. But it is thoroughly relevant, and a 
decision in this court will carry with it the issue in 
all others. 

It is a common and natural notion that the 

1 Caird, Kant, ii. pp. 530, 535 ; cf. Bergson's ftvolution, pp. 174-5, 
and on Art, ib., p. 368, "cet imprevisible rien qui est le tout de 
Pceuvre de Fart." 

2 See Lect. I. and Lect. II. 6. The reason why likeness and unlike- 
ness will not do the work of identity and difference, and why their 
adoption always leads to the fallacy signalised in the text, is simply 
that likeness, being a repeated effect, cannot be subserved by differ- 
ence between the terms alleged to be like, whereas identity, being a 
co-operative universal, is best subserved by difference. Likeness leads 
up to class relations ; identity to organic wholes. See Lect. I. on the 
relation of the abstract universal, which is often spoken of as a 
resemblance, to the concrete universal which must be an identity. 


creative imagination of the artist is a faculty of 
origination de novo. The phrases "creative" or 
" productive " exercise in themselves a certain magic 
over our minds ; and especially in elementary stages 
of art, and in early phases of aesthetic training, the 
imaginative process is apt to be opposed to logical 
derivation from reality, as the "ought," in imperfect 
moral theory, is contrasted with the " is." 

This tendency is supported, when we come to 
theorise, by the obvious difference between a work 
of art and a calculation or an abstract argument. 
In the former not only can another person not follow 
the process of production, but the artist himself 
would be apt to say, though by no means always, or 
always in the same degree, 1 that he did not know 
how it came to him. In the latter case, we are apt 
to say roughly that the production is common form ; 
that it is open to any mind which will give the 
requisite labour and attention, and that the process 
can be analysed step by step. Of course, if we 
pressed it home, this statement would soon betray 
serious limitations ; there is genius in science as in 
art, though, it may be, less definitely specialised and 
directed by nature. But in any case all this with 
the fullest weight that can be given it amounts to 
very little, compared with the thesis to which it is 
supposed to be relevant. 

It only means that in calculation or abstract 
argument we are dealing with relatively simple and 
definite matter, which is fixed, combined, and com- 
municated with comparative ease. In it we are 
only reproducing skeleton elements of the frame- 

1 We have to bear in mind such an expression as Rossetti's about 
" fundamental brainwork." 


work of microcosms, and not the full effect of their 
concentred contents ; and it is not surprising that, 
within limits which are narrower than we are apt to 
think, onemiind can do in these ways much the same 
as another. But when we come to any issue in 
which the whole man is concerned the case is alto- 
gether otherwise. It is then only natural and to be 
expected that you cannot or cannot entirely l substi- 
tute one mind for another ; and that the issue of one 
world of content is not to be matched or reproduced 
by that of other such worlds whose contents ex 
hypothesi are different. 

This is all that the appeal to impossibility of 
prediction really corroborates. Prediction means , 
doing a thing before it is done ; 2 and of course this ! 
is only possible when the conditions are such as can 
with certainty be determined, and can be assembled 
in completeness at our pleasure. But in anything 
which depends on the entire response of the content 
of a mind, it is ridiculous to suggest such a possi- 
bility, except ia so far as a mind may on the whole 
and in the main fall within another and a greater 
mind, or perhaps be identified with it so that the one 
may be in some degree substituted for the other. 8 
And in such a case prediction of the main lines of 
action or thought is possible and frequently actual. 

Therefore, the alleged impossibility of prediction 
or construction of a work of art by other than the 
author adds nothing in principle to the argument 

1 Cf. Lect. III. above, p. in. 

2 Cf. Bergson, Donntes^ p. 168 ; cf. p. 1 16 supra. 

3 This is the basis of the acceptance of testimony or authority. 
There are some minds we can treat as our own. See Bradley, 
Presuppositions of Critical History. All spiritual unity depends on 
this. L.c. supra. 


based upon the obvious contrast between such a 
work and calculation or abstract demonstration. 
And this argument goes only to the difference of 
the matter, and does not in the least suggest that 
the creative nature of an artistic achievement rests 
on a fundamentally different principle from that 
involved in all advance and completion effected by 
the spirit of logic, which lies in the continuity of the 
universal. All logical process is the re-shaping of a 
world of content by its own universal spirit. There 
is no repetition not so much as the recurrent appli- 
cation of a word which is devoid of this creative 
element ; l and in creative production par excellence 
we have only the same thing at its fullest. 

And as we learn to deal with greater shapes of 
art, and as aesthetic insight and experience increase, 
the penetrative imagination reveals itself as the 
higher form of the creative. And we feel that not 
the invention of novelty, but the logic which lays 
bare the heart and structure of things, and in doing 
so purifies and intensifies the feeling which current 
appearances are too confused and contradictory to 
evoke, is the true secret of art. No doubt we should 
fail to predict the incarnation which a painter's or a 
poet's thought will assume ; if we could predict it, we 
should ourself be he. But this is not because we are 
too rational, but because we are not rational enough. 
The " fundamental brainwork " is lacking to us ; as 
is a special capacity for the infinitely delicate logic of 
expression, by which the passionate thought already 
in itself too great for us, is embodied in a million 
ramifications of detail, constituting a tissue of precise 
determination in which alone the thought in question 

1 Cf. author's Logic % 2nd ed., vol. ii. p. 174 flf. 


with its passion could find utterance could become 
itself. If we say that the process is not rational, 
because it is largely unconscious, we are committing 
a serious confusion. The process itself is an 
intense and exquisitely adjusted and organised con- 
sciousness to a great extent obviously and plainly 
logical. But it is not, of course, another and a 
different consciousness watching and analysing the 
first while it proceeds. And in this sense, we are 
apt to forget, all logical process without exception 
is unconscious. You cannot make the working 
function of a syllogism into its major premiss : you 
cannot predict its conclusion ab extra by a watching 
and inactive consciousness. The spirit of logic, 
when at work, deals with what is before the mind, 
and reshapes it ; but it is not itself a part of what is 
before the mind. And in this, though remote in 
degree, it shows its kinship with the creative 
imagination which at its best and greatest, as we 
have urged, turns markedly towards the penetrative. 
If it is " creative," it is so because profound pene- 
tration reveals positive treasures beyond the scope 
of the average mind ; not because it deviates into 
paths of arbitrary fantasy. 1 In short, then, all logical 
activity is a world of content reshaping itself by its 
own spirit and laws in presence of new suggestions ; a 
syllogism is in principle nothing less, and a Parthenon 
or " Paradise Lost" is in principle nothing more. 2 

1 Here I sympathise with Professor Stout's view of possibility 
as something discovered within reality. 

2 No one, so far as my knowledge goes, has ever raised the 
question whether the future course of exact science, say, of pure 
mathematics, is predictable, and if not, why not ? The best answer, as 
always, is the affirmative, plus conditions. It is predictable, of course, 
in so far as you are at the point of growth and adequately gifted, but 
only in so far. Prediction is pre-doing, and passes into doing. 


Now this is the nature and type of originality 
and initiative which the whole of our argument is 
directed to vindicate for our conative development, 
whether practical or intellectual. Our auctions and 
ideas issue from our world as a conclusion from its 
premisses, or as a poem from its author's spirit. Do 
we demand any more complete originality and 
initiative ? Is it urged that our ordinary life-progress 
through moral volition ought to exhibit a creative- 
ness and a novelty of departure to which King Lear 
or the Sistine Madonna could present not the faintest 
approximation nor analogy, and which, if per impos- 
sibile it could be imputed to them, would tear up by 
the roots their significance and their human interest ? 
For when we say " continuity/' we say " logic "; and 
if we deny and remove the latter, we make a cut in 
the universal, and sever the issuing production from 
its roots in human nature. It is true that art is not 
governed by the purpose or interest of producing a 
total representation of the actual world, but has an 
autonomous growth and interest of its own. But 
still the main principle holds good. In that which 
we hold the freest creation, the unchallenged domain 
of productive originality, there is nothing which is 
not one in nature with the remoulding of a cosmos 
by its own yearning for totality, that synthetic 
vitality of the logical spirit which Mephistopheles as 
the genius of modern thought 1 desiderated, and 
which the Middle Age at its best had already 
symbolised by the growth of the leafy spray. 2 

This, then, the creative freedom of art, is what 

1 Kuno Fischer's Goethe's Faust, ii. 205 ff. 

2 Type of the Syllogism ; see what Ruskin has called the Strait 
Gate in the Spanish Chapel at Sta. Maria Novella, in Florence. 


we offer as the type of the characteristic logic or 
movement of the self. I do not see how an initiative 
or originality more complete than this can be con- 
ceived or ^desired, or can be consistent with a self 
that is anything at all. Life to which we are so 
often referred as the true continuity or active duration 
is nothing in the world but a lower phase of an 
analogous logic, related to human activity as a 
hill or cloud to a Turner sketch of it, or as a bird's 
song to the Iliad. What we are here offered is a 
share in the eternal deed which constitutes reality ; 
and I am unable to see what more than this our 
largest wishes can demand. 

A self, then, appears to us as the active form of 
totality, realising itself in a certain mass of experi- 
ence, as a striving towards unity and coherence. 
Its self-determination is that of a logical world, 
ultimately, in the general type, one with the relation 
of a conclusion to premisses, by which a new and 
transfigured whole emerges from a mass of data 
which in one sense contains it, but which in another 
sense it transcends. The nature which we have 
claimed for it is more easily identifiable as we appeal 
to the completest and most triumphant achievements 
of art and poetry. For the leaps and eccentricities 
of a purely freakish fancy are from a logical point 
of view simply possibilities predicated of reality 
under an exceptional amount of tacit reservation, all 
of which is formally a breach of logical continuity ; 
while by the creations of the greatest art the possi- 
bilities of man and nature are rather intensified and 
expanded than wiredrawn into decorative ramifica- 
tions ; and the logical continuity is therefore apt to 
be deeper and more thorough, not more, fragile and 

ofseU " 



attenuated, than that which passes current in ordinary 
life. To stigmatise an initiative of this kind as the 
rattling off of a preformed chain is simply to reject 
the continuity which makes life interestipg. If we 
want a creativeness more free than, this, we shall 
find no analogy for it in the processes by which 
anything worth having is produced in the field of 
knowledge, of practice, or of art. This, then, is our 
conception of a self, of " what it is to be a self," and 
of " what it is to be" free or self-determined. 
Difficulties 4. Two special questions may be considered in 
illustration of the above point of view, and the most 
prominent difficulties of grasping it. 

a. The emptiness of self-consciousness or of the 


ness, its bare subject-object relation, as implied in Green's 
is its idealism, has already been referred to, and will be 
more fully dwelt upon in a later lecture as the 
secret of the power of the self. But in the present 
context a few words of explanation seems desirable. 
The general statement that self- consciousness or 
self-objectification is the principle, of the self is 
plainly an empty and abstract statement. And in 
this sense the conception which it describes is also 
an empty conception ; that is to say, there is nothing 
within the four corners of the statement to identify 
the characteristic there referred to with any special 
interest or content. 

All this is true. It follows inevitably from the 
character manifested in self -consciousness as the 
principle of the whole. 1 It is inconceivable that the 
principle of the whole should be occupied a6 initio 

1 Green, Prolegomena^ sect. 81, cites De anima^ 429 a 19 
dvdyKrj apa ajjuyfj elvai rbv vovv KrA. ; cf. id. 43 1 b 2 1 ij ^X^ TO, 
ovra TTws karri Trdvra. 


by a determinate partial content. If we ask, is the 
mind or self-consciousness indifferent, divorced in 
its nature from any and every content, like pure 
water which has no taste, 1 the only proper answer 
is that its consent is the Absolute, even if in attain- 
ing the Absolute its own special form has to be 
surrendered. And again, if we ask, is it no more 
proper to one partial content than to another, then 
the answer is, " Certainly it is always more proper 
to that content which compared with another 
approaches more nearly to the character of the 
Absolute." But if we are asking, 4< Does the bare 
fact that I am a self-consciousness bind me a priori 
to a determinate form of life, habit, or character ? " 
the question is plainly absurd. The power of self- 
consciousness is to make a self out of circumstances, 
and to do this, if we were, so to speak, circumstanti- 
ally determinate antecedently to circumstance, would 
be an impossibility. We must understand that 
everything comes from somewhere, and that the 
meaning of self-consciousness, the active form of 
totality, is to give everything its character, to be 
the centre in which everything in its degree tells on 
the import of the whole. The emptiness of self- 
consciousness as such is an inevitable condition of 
its fulness in actual individuals. Any experiences 
which fulfil certain very general conditions will 
suffice to constitute a self -consciousness. And it 
seems to be imagined that this truth in some way 
impeaches or impedes the value and significance of 
self-consciousness. But if self-consciousness is, I 
do not say the ultimate form of experience, but the 

1 A comparison which we should probably hold erroneous, applied 
by Winckelmann to the character of perfect beauty. 



highest and most significant of its finite shapes, what 
other law or condition of its being could we have 
hoped for or anticipated ? Such phenomena as are 
recorded in the " Dissociation of a Personality " only 
confirm the general conception of a self and the 
conditions of its stability, 1 which we ought to have 
gathered from such thinkers as Plato and Hegel. 
The keynote is throughout that a true self is some- 
thing to be made and won, to be held together 
with pains and labour, not something given to be 

its time- ft. The timelessness or eternity which the same 
isTts ess ^ Idealism ascribes to the fundamental self has also 
" dur< *-' been a source of difficulty. But really the matter 
seems very simple. Time itself, as we all know 
to-day, is a hybrid experience. Succession does not 
suffice to constitute it ; and in the same way and 
for the same reason succession does not suffice to 
constitute a self. All this is familiar ground ; and 
the only point of difference arises in the interpreta- 
tion of that continuity of content wh^'ch is admittedly 
necessary to the experience of duration throughout 
a succession. The interpretation assumes different 
shapes according to ultimate metaphysical theory ; 
and those who take the element of succession in 
time to be ultimately a mere appearance, incapable 
of maintaining itself in a perfect experience, will 
hold different language as regards the common facts 
of duration from those who take succession and 
continuity to be two inseparable factors of a reality 
which is fundamentally temporal. The former will 

1 This actual word, fundamental in the Platonic theory of mental 
being, constantly recurs in this recent study of the life-history of a 
self, as indicating the high-water mark of its unification of content. 


speak of the self, in proportion as it assumes the 
nature of a whole present to itself, and further 
implies a continuity, limited only by de facto impot- 
ence, witfr the whole content of the universe, as 
approximating to the nature of eternity or non- 
temporal being, which they hold to be the ultimate 
nature of the experience which alone is true reality. 
The latter will treat the experience of system and 
continuity in the self as merely a side of the real, 
which can never be shown capable of wholly defeat- 
ing or including the aspect of successiveness. But 
when the hybrid or at least the dual nature of time 
(and, we may add, of space) is thoroughly admitted, 
the actual facts as to the nature of the finite self are 
no longer in dispute, and the question, so far as it con- 
cerns such a self, becomes one of words. " Duree," 
the operative concentration of the self's past history 
at the growing point of the present, is one with the 
relative timelessncss of a finite self. If, then, it is 
admitted that timelessness is an essential constituent 
of time and this much will hardly be denied to-day 
then to say of any finite being that it is temporal 
(has or is "duree") includes, strictly speaking, all 
that can be demanded for the description of such a 
self by the theory which takes eternity to be its full 
and perfect character. For that the finite has an 
aspect of succession that qua finite it is not "all 
there " this again is what no one could dream of 
denying. The point at which the theory of the 
eternal self continues to part company from its critics 
lies in the emphasis which it will attach to the 
differential degrees in which the feature of externality 
and successiveness of determination by space and 
time accompanies the degrees of completeness and 


stability attained to by the self, and its recognition 
that its true being lies beyond its fullest actual 
realisation. The distinctive being of the self is 
inversely as its dependence on exteraality and 

Logic is 5. The crucial point, then, which separates deter- 

deter- minateness from determinism is the distinction 
between logic and fatality. By logic we understand, 
w ^k Pl ato an d Hegel, the supreme law or nature of 
imperfect experience, the impulse towards unity and coherence 
(the positive spirit of non-contradiction) by which 
every fragment yearns towards the whole to which 
it belongs, 1 and every self to its completion in the 
Absolute, and of which the Absolute itself is at once 
an incarnation and a satisfaction. The attempt, 
which bulks large in recent controversy, to identify 
this principle with one of its cases, has really no 
significance beyond that of a relative emphasis which 
arises in the applications of daily life. It is an 
obvious though very important truth that the higher 
moods or attainments are the more concrete and the 
more inclusive ; and that in dropping to less arduous 
and intense experiences we become restricted to 
more limited and specialised attitudes. This 
principle, as we argued above, 2 is the key to the 
relation between our commoner experiences and the 
Absolute ; and we have an everyday instance of 
it when in the succession of our average moods 

1 o'/oeyeTou, Phaedo, 7$ B, of a fragmentary perception, such as 
that of a pair of terms which suggest what they fail to realise. I am 
convinced Plato meant this much more literally than we take it. It 
is an experience which clamours for completion. 

2 See p. 274 ff. above. M. Arnold gives us the principle in an 
everyday shape 

" But tasks in hours of insight will'd 
Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled." 


intellectual work is dissociated from practical self- 
assertion, and both from love and adoration. But 
none the less it is the strict and fundamental truth 
that love \i the mainspring of logic, and that practice, 
if the term has a distinctive sense at all, is a sub- 
ordinate feature of its movement. 

Fatality would be the opposite of this ; it would 
be a movement, a succession, without love or logic, 
and with moments external to each other, such as 
we seem to ourselves to detect in the unconscious 
processes of what we call physical nature. " It 
takes all sorts to make a world " ; and a true theory 
of appearances will leave room for externality not 
as a self-subsistent real, but as representing an 
element of dissociation essential to the order and 
emphasis of the whole. It is only when we come 
to treat it as subsistent in its own right, and to erect 
it into the type by which conscious experience is to 
be construed, that it assumes the menacing form of 
fatalism or determinism. 1 It is really, as compared 
with logical deyterminateness, an imperfect, relative, 
and indeterminate form of connection. It involves 
the paradox of a universal or continuity, which 
operates without possessing any being in its own 
right and form. According to an old comparison, 
it is like the reaction of an intelligent body in its 
sleep, or, in more modern language, like the effects 
of a split-off consciousness as they appear within 
the self from which it is split off. Now what all 
this means, for our present point of view, is that 
externality or physical determination is imperfectly 
determinate. It is sensitive, to use a metaphor, 
only to certain factors of a situation. It is not the 
1 See McTaggart, Commentary, sect. 185. 


awareness of a whole reshaping itself according to 
the full significance of the constituent contents. We 
must learn, if we wish to understand the relation 
justly, to think of physical causation not as the type 
of perfect complex determinateness, against which 
spiritual freedom shows as the responsiveness of a 
simple self-centred creature, the direct guiding 
reaction of a purely unitary being ; we must rather 
compare the two as a region of abstract and external 
contexts and responses between unawakened beings, 
contrasted with a living and concrete world of 
appreciation, in which the whole quality of every 
element is capable in principle l of bearing upon and 
responding to the whole quality of every other. 

Therefore it must be observed, in concluding this 
consideration of freedom, that determinateness and 
determinism are in principle opposed. Determin- 
ateness must be fullest in the Absolute and in God. 
And in all experience the plain tendency is for 
determination and value to go together. The 
ultimate value is in the whole, and .value rises with 
participation in it, 2 which means the transfiguration 
of experience by the bringing to bear of all upon all 
in the fullest vitality. Such is the ideal of the logic 
of a self, and to such an ideal the conception of 
determinism, of a causation which is partial and, so 
to speak, unawakened, is thoroughly antagonistic. 

God, it has been said, could only impart Himself 
by imparting a self, and we may urge the comple- 
mentary truth that a self can only be a self in so far 
as it is the self. The desire to escape the principle 

1 Of course it is only in the whole that the appreciation and 
response are complete. 

2 Apparent exceptions to this principle will be dealt with below, 


of self-determination or positive non-contradiction is 
really, though it may seem otherwise, a desire to 
shirk responsibility. What the ordinary advocate 
of freedom at bottom demands as "the power to 
have acted otherwise," is in the same breath to act 
and not to act, or, acting, yet not to act. It is to 
repudiate, not to accept, responsibility, that is, the 
qualification of the self by its behaviour. He is 
offered what he pretends to ask, that his act shall be 
his and himself ; and he runs from his demand the 
moment he is confronted with its meaning. In 
every action, and even in the moment of acting, he 
is to be as if he had not acted and was not acting, 
uncommitted and undeveloped. " Uncommitted/' 
it may be replied, " before the action, but not after." 
But this is an evasion. If uncommitted after 
thousands of actions, and before the thousand and 
first, he is uncommitted no less after the thousand 
and first. The point of the doctrine is not that 
the act does, but that it does not characterise the 
self. 1 

6. It was admitted just above 2 that the test of Apparent 
logical determinateness, as indicating degree of ^ 
individuality or the completeness of a self, may ^ 
seem to conflict with the facts. The analogy of the < l ,p f a 
soundness of a theory, in judging of which we give 
weight to the distinction between more or less 
fundamental principles, principles whose denial 
involves the denial of more or less complete and 
coherent ranges of experience, will suffice to remove 
the difficulty. 

It will be best to combine the discussion of this 

1 In Mack, Freiheitstheorien, this is plain, e.g. p. 175. 
2 Page 342 footnote, 


appearance with the application of the foregoing 
views to the evil self. For obviously we are likely 
to be asked, Do you mean to, say that the evil self 
is simply a case of the inevitable logic of ihe self? 

When we approach the problem of the evil self 
from the point of view of Individuality and com- 
pleteness, there are at least three typical forms of 
imperfection which present themselves as demanding 
consideration. There is the animal self; the naive 
or elementary good self ; and the bad self proper, 
the rebellious or positively negative self. If badness 
is defect of individuality, a logic imperfectly in- 
formed, and so a relative failure to construct a whole 
(so the problem states itself), why should not the 
two former types of the self, which prima facie 
certainly exhibit this incompleteness, be set down 
as pre-eminent cases of the evil self? How, upon 
our view, can any distinction between badness and 
imperfection be upheld ? 

The animal (i.) The animal self the bodily needs and desires 
parabito which man shares with the brute creation furnishes 
outV* 11 * 1 " a reac ty an( l obvious example of the imperfect self, 
theory anc [ ] las b een exploited in that sense in some degree 

an abstrac- L 

tion. by the ethical philosophy of Greece, and also by 
popular morality and religion in all ages. It is 
needless to refer at length to the fallacies which 
thus arose. 1 It is plain, and the Greeks themselves 
were well aware of it, that the animal content of life 
must be regarded as the common root of man's pur- 
poses, good and bad alike, and not as something 

1 The phrase of George Eliot's old lady, " drinking and smoking 
like the beasts that perish," well sums up the absurdity. Aristotle 
(Eth. Nic. 1118 b 8) was aware that the main danger to morality 
lies in specialised desires and not in the simple wants which we share 
with the lower animals. Cf, Green, Prolegomena^ sect. 265. 


that is to be negatived, unless in the sense of trans- 
formation, which takes place in the bad self no less 
than in the good. The form of imperfection, there- 
fore, that would consist in remaining a brute beast 
is one that cannot actually exist in a human con- 
sciousness, and the forms of vice that are confused 
with it bear in reality quite a different relation to 
the individual self. The animal basis of life is 
imperfect in the sense in which data are imperfect 
without a theory, and not in the sense of a theo- 
retical structure capable of narrowness and self-con- 
tradiction. It would not amount to so much as an 
imperfect human self. 1 

(ii.) When we consider the naive or elementary The naive 
life of morality 2 and religion, that, let us say, of a compared 
simple, uncultured, but kindly and honourable per- a 

son of any creed which is not actively savage or mental 

1 1 1 1-/TT P nI1C1 P le 

cruel, we seem to be met by a more serious dim- alone. 
culty. In the light of the analogy we are pursuing, 
such a life is, even relatively to the average, very 
decidedly imperfect, claiming but a low rank of indi- 
viduality. The mental equipment which suffices for 
it omits huge provinces of experience, and would 
be unable to deal with the bulk of the relations 
which constitute the world of an advanced civilisa- 
tion. If defective individuality is analogous to 
failure of theoretical grasp, and lies in openness to 
contradiction and incapacity to unify life, surely, it 
might be argued, here we have it, and, on our hypo- 

1 A question of great interest, but not relevant here, is how far a 
brute animal can be said to possess a self. How far do we endow 
them, out of our gathered observations, with the character which for 
us they certainly display ? How far is it anything for themselves ? 

2 I am here discussing naive morality in respect of that solid and 
realised content which it involves, abstracting from the theoretical 
aspect of " moralitat " as a mere struggle against evil. 


thesis, we should be driven to the absurdity of 
admitting, in the plainest sense of the words, that 
ignorance is vice. For certainly, as compared with 
such an innocent ignorance, a mind whichuwe should 
unhesitatingly pronounce wicked and .corrupt may 
have a far wider range of culture, and a relatively 
full capacity, not only for the theoretical, but even 
for the practical unification of life. This apparent 
fact, that a plain, ignorant mind may be good, and 
one refined and cultured in the highest degree l may 
be bad, is what would commonly be alleged against 
us. And what is true in the objection leads up to 
a most striking verification of our point of view. 

The ignorance which Socrates pronounced to be 
vice was ignorance of the good. The good meant 
for him the unification of life. Now, the unification 
of life is a problem which, like other problems, has 
its fundamental necessities and its outlying corol- 
laries, things which must be known and done to 
realise it at all, things which may be known and 
done to realise it more completely. And the 
essential matter is that the naive or simple self of 
everyday morality and religion consists of the prin- 
ciples which are fundamental in the unification of 
life. The contention that wisdom is goodness 
transforms itself in the end 2 into the contention 
that goodness is wisdom, and with complete justifi- 
cation. Applying the analogy of a theory we have 
here, in the self at the level of naive morality, an 
imperfection comparable to the possession of some 
sound fundamental principle in science, politics, or 
philosophy, apart from the special knowledge or 

1 I state the common opinion, subject to some reservation which 
the discussion will reveal. 2 Plato, Laws> 689 A-E. 


aptitude demanded by abstruse and remote pro- 
vinces of research. It would be fair and true to 
say that what is called morality par excellence is 
constituted by the main structural outline of the in- 
telligence, a defect in which cannot be wholly com- 
pensated as concerning the unification of life by the 
most complete aptitude and control in specialised 
provinces of experience. 

Thus we see at once why naive morality and 
religion, although very highly imperfect forms of 
individuality, are not in principle ranked as com- 
parable in negative value to forms of the bad self, 
or as wholly and inevitably surpassed in positive 
value by the higher developments of civilised mind 
if possessed in isolation. (That they the naive 
attitudes in question are morally and religiously 
defective by reason of the limitation which con- 
stitutes their naive character, and that they do fail 
in a high degree, though not fundamentally, in the 
unification of life, is a consequence which I not only 
admit but energetically maintain.) It is because 
they possess the essential and fundamental condi- 
tions of unification, of which scientific or artistic 
aptitudes, for example, are outlying corollaries and 
completions, but relatively posterior and dependent. 
A man is good in as far as his being is unified at all 
in any sphere of wisdom or activity. And in deal- 
ing with a whole so vital as the whole of mind, one 
cannot say that the perfection of any part is indif- 
ferent to that of any other, or, therefore, that 
morality is entirely unimpaired by aesthetic and 
scientific incapacity. 

Still, in the main, the dependence is the other 
way ; simple morality can more nearly stand alone, 


and its absence shakes the whole foundations of life 
and mind. Such absence is in respect to life as a 
whole, what a failure of belief in the first principles 
of rational system is to the scientific intelligence. 1 

This, then, is the true distinction between 
morality, commonly so called, and intellectual or 
aesthetic excellence, which is goodness in the wider, 
or (should we rather say ?) in the narrower sense. 2 
It is a distinction of degree between the more and 
the less fundamental of the ideas which govern life. 
It is not the current distinction between ideas intel- 
lectually held and ideas so held as to be effective in 
action. Ideas which, as we said of moral ideas, 
form the main structure of the mind, cannot but be 
operative ideas whose content claims such a place, 
but which do not occupy it because inadequately 
held, are not truly knowledge. In bare fact, the 
presence of adequate ideas which are inoperative in 
moral matters is vastly exaggerated, and it is even 
doubtful whether, strictly speaking, it can be shown 
to be real. The point is, that ideas which prove 
inoperative are such as are not carried out into the 
connections and associations which would constitute 
at once their meaning and their power. 3 It is not 
true, as a bare fact, that the selfish man knows and 

1 One meets with men of enormous learning and cleverness who 
nevertheless seem fundamentally incapable of dealing fairly with 
evidence or of understanding the elementary requirements of a sound 
theory. A mind which is like this right through would be a bad 
mind a mind whose powers of unification only served to deepen con- 

2 Narrower, because these excellences per se are, after all, pro- 
vincial moralities, not dealing with the main framework of life as a 

8 Cf. further, the analysis of what is involved in such dominance 
of an idea as cause its realisation. Bradley, in Mind^ xliv. pp. 447-8. 
See pp. 20 1 -2 supra. 


realises the value of unselfishness or the superficial 
man the value of thoroughness. It may be argued 
backwards and forwards how we strain our imagina- 
tion of whfit we lack, and how we "rack the value " 
of what we have missed, but these feverish aspira- 
tions never reach the plain solidity of knowledge. 

The intellectual rank and value of morality has 
here been discussed on the basis of the actual con- 
tent of the leading moral ideas, and the conclusion 
would stand fast even if per impossibile it could be 
shown that the ideas can be fully present without 
being operative. For if they could exist (as "know- 
ledge") without morality, yet morality could not 
exist without them, and its nature lies essentially in 
their content. Whatever we may think of the 
phrase " wisdom is goodness/' it stands fast that 
goodness is wisdom, and this truth has, as we shall 
see, ramifications and corollaries of the highest im- 

We have seen, then, that (i.) the animal self is so 
much below imperfection as not to count at all, even 
for an imperfect human self; and that (ii.) the self 
of naive morality and religion is certainly imperfect, 
but by reason of possessing the fundamental condi- 
tions of unification is a sound foundation, not to be 
dispensed with or undone, for the fuller determina- 
tions demanded by the fuller experience. 

But when we come (iii.) to the evil self we have 
before us something which we recognise at once as 
different in kind. For here we have essentially the 
phenomenon, familiar to us in the province of theory, against 

* ' . . . . . . complete 

of two quasi-rational systems in active antagonism, knowledge. 
as claiming to attach different principles and predi- 
cates to identical data here, to the common basis of 


the self. In this case, no doubt, we may and do 
find a considerable area of positive unification in a 
system which, nevertheless, we are obliged to recog- 
nise as an evil self. It is just as we may /and a high 
degree of organisation and rationality in a theory 
which, on the whole, we are obliged to reject in 
favour of one more solid and complete. The evil 
self is not evil in itself. The most suggestive and 
extraordinary fact about it is the very high degree 
in which objects and interests, which in many con- 
texts, or most, we should pronounce good and 
desirable, may enter into the very tissue and texture 
of the evil life, 1 just as beauty enters into the detail 
of the terrible or hideous in art, or as truth enters 
into the detail of theories which, on the whole, are 

The evil self is evil, then, because and in as far 
as it is antagonistic to the good, for, however highly 
organised in itself, it is inevitably through this anta- 
gonism the adversary of unification of experience, 
and the vehicle of contradiction in tlje very heart of 
the self. Many questions of interest may arise out 
of this formulation. Is not the evil, then, after all a 
species of the good good in the wrong place as dirt 
is matter in the wrong place ? And could not the 
self be equally divided, so that while the contradic- 
tion in it was obvious, we should find it hard to 
pronounce which self was good and which evil ? 

But for our present purpose we have seen 
enough. We have seen how it is that not every 
imperfect self is pro tanto an evil self; and again, 
that an evil self may be, regarded in and by itself, 
of a higher degree of consistency and coherence in 

1 Macbeth is a good instance. 


virtue of its positive aim (not of its aim as evil, 
which is essentially negative or rebellious) than 
many an imperfect self which is either non-moral or 
morally g9od. It is simply the difference between 
inadequacy apd developed contradiction, and thus 
the facts confirm our conception of maximum indi- 
viduality or unification of experience as the standard 
of real and good, and therefore our conception of 
logic as the law of the striving of the self. 

But if this is so, then the evil self is a case of 
the logical striving of the self after unity, which has 
brought it into contradiction with a fuller and 
sounder striving (just as in the region of pure 
theory we may be a prey to an insoluble antagonism 
of which both sides are due to the theoretical 
impulse). Thus a question will naturally arise as to 
the application of the idea of self-determination 
to this form of the self. Do we affirm that the 
essential nisus towards unification and individuality, 
the conation of the self, can take the shape of 
a bad self, anc^ this, according to the tenor of our 
views, as a logical necessity ? l And is not this 
doctrine open to the dangers of fatalism ? Is 
the bad will, where and so far as developed, a 
logical necessity in the self which develops it, no less 
than the good will ? Certainly it is so. The point 
and meaning of the bad will is wholly lost unless it 
is a development of the self in the same sense as the 
good will ; the only difference being that it has 
seized a false clue such as is essentially incapable of 
doing the work of unification, which the will as such 
sets out to do, and is thus brought into more or less 
explicit antagonism to the purposes of unified life, 

1 Cf. Green, Prolegomena^ sect, in. 


and ultimately to itself. There is no metaphysical 
difficulty in this view. The assertion of moral evil 
is involved, as has often been pointed out, in the 
very nature of morality. Moral evil is*not in its 
whole content something alien and menacing to the 
world. It is something which has a relative right 
to be ; it is involved in the fact of finiteness, though 
its special shapes arise from the logic of individual 
finite beings. That this should be embodied in the 
inherent work of selves it cannot, ex hypothesi, be 
the whole work of any self is only part of the con- 
tradiction belonging to finite life, where completely 
harmonious self-affirmation is impossible. Moral 
evil, we might say, is good hostile to good. 1 As 
hostile, it demands amendment and subordination, 
but it is, in its positive nature, not in the mere 
antagonism of which by subordination it would be 
divested, obviously a contribution to the vitality of 
the whole. 

Is this doctrine dangerous, as a suggestion of 
fatalism ; of the will in some agents b^ing predestined 
to be evil ? 

The question applies to good and evil alike. It 
is whether a necessary action 2 implies a necessary 
agent ; whether when we say a decision cannot but 
be such and such, we are saying that the agent 
" cannot help " making it. 

1 Other forms of evil, not specially relevant to the problem of 
moral good (e.g. pain) will be considered elsewhere. Must the bad 
self be rebellious against its own good self? May it not be, all of a 
piece so to speak, rebellious against the socially recognised good ? 
I think, if the case is worked out, it must mean that the good 
rebelled against is recognised in the character of good, and therefore 
as a good self against the rebellious self. Would a man, unaware of 
good, be immoral, or a criminal lunatic ? 

2 Green, Prolegomena, I.e. 


The primary principle that should govern the 
whole discussion is this, that the attitude of moral 
judgment and responsibility for decisions is only one 
among other attitudes and spheres of experience. 
More than this, it is, as we shall see, only an aspect 
of the actual fact and reality, an aspect which would 
show quite differently in the whole but is isolated 
(relatively) by our impotence. It must not be set 
up as absolute or pressed as the whole and inclusive 
reality of human action. The attitude of moral 
judgment and decision the feeling, it now all 
depends on me, and I, and I only, can determine 
and am responsible for what is now to take place, is 
right and true in face of a moral decision to be made, 
because the several factors or constituents of the will, 
and the law or spirit of action, are already pre- 
supposed in the fact of my being a world which is a 
self. The question now is how that self will reshape 
and develop itself. At the moment and in presence 
of the situation this, its absolute independence, is 
real and a fact, and is itself an element in deter- 
mining my behaviour. But metaphysical theory, 
viewing the self in its essential basis of moral 
solidarity with the natural and social world, and in 
the special relations with others which forbid its 
isolation, cannot admit that the independence of the 
self, though a fact, is more than a partial fact. 1 Both 
views are true and represent the reality of the 
universe in their degree ; but it is fatal to confuse 
them, or, which is the same thing, to set them in 
antagonism as if they belonged to the same situation 
and had to meet the same need. It is true that in 
the moral emergency all depends on the individual 

1 See above, Lecture VII. p. 277. 

2 A 


will which, as explained above, is in the right when 
it recognises this. But it is true that the individual 
will is a principle and content having far deeper 
roots than what we commonly take to be theundividual 
mind, and the task, which is really and rightly its 
task, is set it by the universe. 

The Determinist has relied on this deep-rooted- 
ness of the will ; but not with complete justification. 
He rightly urges that prima facie, if moral bona 
fides is presupposed, our ideas, say, about the nature 
of volition cannot be drawn in to affect the positive 
influences and motives which are presupposed as 
constituting volition. To say in general that your 
ideas guide your actions ought not to be taken as 
favouring some ideas (e.g. ideas of fatalism) at the 
expense of others. But this argument does not 
come quite fairly from the Determinist. For his 
metaphysical position is really hostile to the nature 
of self-determination. He construes the self and 
motives on the analogy of things which are not a 
self or motives; and his term "necessary" does 
not merely express a conviction as to the rationality 
of the result, but conveys a conception of the nature 
of the process irreconcilable with the true idea of 
the moral deliberation by which motives are framed 
and modified. 

With the present theory, it is submitted, this is 
not the case. It can in no way be held to narrow 
the scope or transmute the conceptions of moral 
deliberation or determination. It recognises the 
self as operative in its own nature, as creative and 
originative according to its own law the only law 
of creativeness which prevails in the universe. It 
recognises a necessary act an act which must 


be what it is but not a necessary agent, 1 because 
nothing but the agent determines the act, and there 
is no meaning in applying to him any "must" or 
" cannot hvilp it" except in the sense that everything 
is what it is. In other words we may say 2 that 
nothing past, nothing external, is operative in the 
agent's choice. It is all gathered up and made into 
the agent himself, and its remodelling in him is one 
with his creative production of a new deed. All it 
does is to supplement the strictly moral attitude, 
" It is I, and I only, who have to act; it is I who 
determine what is to happen, and in determining it 
I am good or bad," an attitude which cannot exist 
per se^ nor be pushed to the bitter end. It supple- 
ments this attitude by the wider recognition of 
metaphysic (akin to that of religion, apart from 
which, however unrecognised, morality could not 
conceivably subsist), 3 that I through my goodness 
or badness, which means through my moral judgment 
and decision, a burden which I cannot possibly be 
relieved from cr put away from me, am yet more 
or less completely doing the work of the universe, 
and, as and because I am myself, am acting as a 
member in a greater self, and am in a large measure 
continuous with it, and dyed with its colours. 

7. The ideal that appears irrepressible in the 

1 This view, derived directly from Green, but on the whole the 
view of the philosophical tradition from Plato downwards, is curiously 
coincident in its application with Bergson ; s doctrine, which alleges 
that every theoretical account of free will is deterministic as resting 
on a spatial representation of time, neglecting the character of 
"duree" (Donntes, p. 168). I agree so far; but as I have argued 
throughout, he seems to me to truncate the character of " duree." 

2 See above on Kant, p. 327. 

3 A morality, e.g.) which should attempt to disown the " means of 
grace " in the suggestions and influences of nature and society would 
be as untrue to moral fact as it would be hostile to religion. 


The ideal treatment of Freedom, Initiative, Individuality, is 
the ideal of Contingency. To establish Contingency 

confusion * n ^ e ^ eart f things is the motto and motive of the 
between moralistic Idealist, 1 and the scientific thinker, who 
and the appeals from mathematics to biology, as disposed to 

arbitrary. .... o -ri i r 1 

join in the enterprise. 1 he object ot the present 
lecture, in harmony with the aim of the present 
work, is to defend a wholly different set of suggestions. 
The bias towards contingency arises, it would 
appear, from a misinterpretation of the demand for 
creative initiative, combined with a failure to 
appreciate the true nature of logical process. Our 
effort has been to bring the conception of moral 
and individual initiative nearer to the idea of logical 
determination, and so into comparison and con- 
nection with the forms of creative activity most 
indubitably recognised as such and as giving the 
highest value known in human experience. And it 
is very noticeable, as has been observed above, 
that the tendency to confuse creative determina- 
tion with arbitrariness and contingency displays 
itself in popular ideas of what is fine and desirable 
no less in these other spheres than in morality. 3 

1 Ward, Naturalism^ ii. 280. 

2 Bergson, Evolution^ e.g., p. 125. Conscious life depends for 
him on the accumulation in the body of an immense store of 
indetermination. It is obvious thai in view of the conceptions which 
we are working with, the store of indetermination would become the 
substructure of logical as superseding mechanical determinations. 

3 Such are the ideas of art and of originality which were so 
constantly the object of Goethe's satire, e.g. Wcrke, iii. in. 

" From masters I have ever kept apart, 
To follow others' footsteps seemed disgrace ; 
Myself have from myself learned all my art." 
" Too plainly, it's the case." 

("Es ist auch danach") ; or the famous lines on inheritance, Wcrke, 
iii. 411, "Gern war* ich Ueberliefrung los Und ganz original . . ." 


From the present point of view, not only logical 
theory, but the whole doctrine of the expression of 
thought and emotion in aesthetic form, of social right 
and duty, >f religious aspiration and attainment, no 
less than the achievements of science and philosophy, 
is fatal to the ideal of contingency. It is being 
master of and mastered by content, with its trans- 
figuration as it reshapes itself towards the whole, 
that confers logical stability and exalts individuality. 



"Nature" i. Is it possible to speak intelligibly of a relation 
lironment between Nature and the self? Either term seems 

inconceivable without the other ; and there must be 
something of arbitrariness in any attempts to draw a 
The ime i{ ne between them. 

and mind If indeed we took Nature to mean the homo- 
E.g. ilas it geneous world of units adapted for calculation as 
Beauty? j cnown to mathematical physics, then there would 
be no difficulty in the distinction, but no interest in 
the relation. Nature would then be one special 
abstraction under which our intelligence brings 
together some general characteristics of the world 
in space and time, for the purpose of reducing 
its different appearances to comparable formulae. 
It would no doubt be an effective form in which to 
recognise many external conditions that operate 
upon the self, but it would be far short of what 
nature means either to the common man or the 

On the other hand, if we understand by Nature 
the universe in space and time interpreted as a 
living system, the meaning which lies at the root of 
all art and poetry, we should find it hard to exclude 
from it the spiritual side of the higher organisms, 



and any further spiritual being which we may suppose 
their existence to imply. And the distinction, if any 
remained,betweenthe selfand Nature, would be simply 
that between part and whole, and so far as a relation 
between the two was concerned, could only be taken 
as leading up to some such view as the following. 

For there is a distinction of kind, relevant to our 
purpose. We want to understand what it is that 
the environment, the world of things and facts as we 
experience it, contributes to the being of the self, 
the subject or centre for which things or facts are 
objects. Nature in this sense, the spatial, external, 
objective world, with its full beauty and usefulness, 
though nearly everything, is not quite everything. 
It is hard to say where it stops ; but plainly we 
must draw the line somewhere. It cannot be drawn 
always at the same point between the subject and 
its environment. For the self, itself, draws its 
material from Nature, and even as subject, as con- 
fronted with its objective surroundings, is making 
use of that material to give itself the feeling of self- 
hood. 1 Nature for everyday sentiment and perception 
differs only in degree from what it is for the artist 
and the poet. It is the world in space and time, 
with all its secondary qualities, and moreover, with 
all the interpretations and emotions by which in our 
experience it is taken as qualified. We know that 
in this sense it could be nothing apart from a self 
which at least must be sentient. 2 Nevertheless 

1 Psychology of Moral Self, p. 57. 

2 I do not see how this proposition can be overthrown. Grant 
that sensations are objects, grant even per impossibile, that they are 
physical, I think we must interpret these predicates consistently 
with depending upon sentience. Professor Alexander, I think, 
would admit that they are adapted to form part of a world of which 
mind is a leading constituent. 


it is not created by the self taken apart from the 
detail of the environment ; for so taken the self 
would be nothing. The self may indeed be said to 
make its own environment. But this is only by 
selection ; it depends on the given ; and even within 
the given it cannot be arbitrary. It is an affair of 
interests, motives, preferences, grounds, reasons ; 
at all events, of something ; and something does 
not come from nothing, but from something in 
particular. The self, which makes the environment, 
is itself all soaked in environment You cannot say 
where self ends and environment begins. Nature, 
conceived as an environment, can hardly be reckoned 
as less than the whole detail of thing and fact which 
enters into the world of the self. How far we treat 
it as qualified by the interpretations and emotions of 
the self, is, as we have said, a matter of degree. The 
influence upon us of our own bodies, of our friends 
in the world of lower animals, or of external events 
in which other human beings are concerned, cannot 
be excluded from it on any consistent principle. 

The distinction thus becomes the same in principle 
with that of circumstance and character. 1 It is a 
distinction of points of view. Anything in ourselves 
or our environment is in this sense Nature, which is 
not considered in the light of the behaviour of a 
self. Anything belongs to a self, in which details 
of our world are seen as connected parts within the 
total reaction of a mind. If we consider the distinc- 
tion between Nature and fine art, Nature and morality 
or politics, Nature and industrial or economic activity, 
we shall find that no other contrast is justified by 
common usage and experience, or is relevant to the 

1 We shall return to this in the second series. 


distinction between Nature and the self. Thus my 
being born and bred in the Highlands or Lowlands, 
in town or country, of a strong or a feeble race, are 
all natural^ facts ; obvious pieces of environment ; 
though my attitude to these facts, or to other things 
by reason of these facts, belongs to myself, and is the 
sort of stuff or substance in which myself consists. 

Nature, then, as thus considered, is the world in 
space and time, abstracted from our momentary 
attitude and considered as self-existent, though at 
the same time held to be possessed of qualities 
which presuppose it to be in relation with a 
cognitive sentient purposive and emotional being. 1 

2. Nature, as thus considered, has obviously an Nature 

. i TV /r i rir T 1 inseparable 

intimate connection with Mind or belt. 1 use the frommmd. 
term connection as the most non-committal term that 

1 This view of Nature seems to me to prescribe the true line to 
be taken in the recent discussion (see Ar. Proc. for 1909) whether 
such objects as sensations are psychical or physical. All objects of 
mind, the answer will be, are psychical. But some are physical 
as well ; />., some enter into a determinate context of reactions, which 
forms a special part of the psychical world, \\hich we call the physical 
world and contrast with the psychical. But this is an abstraction, 
for the physical world can never, in the last resort, put oft" its 
psychical character. A tree is beautiful, and green, and tall. All 
these qualities are, as presentations, necessarily psychical ; but the 
tallness at least, as a character of a thing in space, is certainly 
physical. And this is probably the true line of demarcation. They are 
all, as we said, psychical ab initio as presentations. But qua determined 
by a construction of objects in space they all (including " physical " 
beauty) become physical also. Then they are relatively opposable 
to the psychical. But not more than relatively. For, taking as the 
test of psychical nature the being destroyed if the percipient mind 
were destroyed, it is plain that in a degree, though only in a degree, 
presentations remain psychical not only as pure presentations, but 
even as qualities of spatial objects. The subjective mind, which 
has perceived and which conceives them, being destroyed, their 
existence would certainly be pro tanto diminished, though not 
necessarily annihilated. A physical object must at least be capable 
of becoming psychical at any moment. If not, it so far has not 
full existence. 


I can think of. For what nature has to do with 
mind or self is just the question we are to discuss. 

In any case it is undeniable that Nature is in 
some sense plastic and responsive to finite^ subjective 
mind, and, so far may be set down as in some sense 
" expressive " of mind, or as its embodiment, or as 
a crystallisation or hieroglyph of it. But this familiar 
and obvious conception hides within it two quite 
antagonistic lines of thought, the one starting from 
the idea that mind and nature are akin, the other 
from the idea that they are complementary, and 
prima facie in a kind of opposition. 

starting i. If our impression of the unity of Nature and 
ship we Mind leads us to start from the idea of kinship or 
resemblance, we shall be led to travel the road, 
so fashionable to-day, which ends in the conception 
of the Universe as a society of spirits, in which the 
constituent parts of Nature are members, in grades 
and divisions unknown to us, but intelligible by 
analogy. The external world would thus be the 
body, and its behaviour the language and conduct, 
of actual spiritual beings, not ourselves. 1 And 
whether we preferred the phraseology of will or of 
meaning, there would be literal and immediate 
truth in saying that nature possessed a purpose and 
a significance, akin to our own, and communicable 
to us according to our measure of sympathy and 
insight, while barred against us in the main by 
difference perhaps of modes of utterance, perhaps 
of the span of consciousness. We should, in short, 
have accepted the general attitude of Pan-psychism. 

1 This so far is a view to which I understand Mr. Bradley to 
be favourable (Appearance, pp. 271 and 275). But when it is driven 
to the extreme of Pan-psychism, I gather that he does not follow, 
Mind, li. p. 327 note. 


Now it should be noted that if this attitude is 
carried through, all externality is dissolved away, 
i.e., all outward appearance becomes resolvable ad 
infinitum into spirits. For if not, if it is admitted 
that there is and must be externality as a counter- 
part of spirit, then there is no reason in principle 
for denying that parts of Nature in which subjective 
mind seems a superfluous hypothesis, are just ex- 
ternality or the counterpart of subjective mind else- 
where. If Pan-psychism is necessary, the resolution 
into spirit must be universal. 

I confess that it is a doctrine which has always 
appeared to me to reveal the poverty of philosophical 
imagination. It treats the striking and thorough- 
going opposition and inseparability of mind and 
externality as if it had no more significance than a 
mere congeries of centres of experience belonging 
to different classes and degrees. It transforms the 
complementariness of mind and nature, on which as 
it would seem, their inseparability depends, by an 
analysis of one^ into the other such as wholly to 
destroy the speciality of function for which the one 
is needed by the other. 1 Why insist on reducing 
to a homogeneous type the contributions of all 
elements to the whole? What becomes of the 
material incidents of life of our food, our clothes, 
our country, our own bodies ? Is it not obvious that 
our relation to these things is essential to finite 
being, and that if they are in addition subjective 
psychical centres their subjective psychical quality 
is one which so far as realised would destroy their 
function and character for us ? 

The work for which finite mind is necessary and 

i Cf. Mind, Lc. 


; valuable may surely be summed up as guidance, 
including will, and appreciation, including emotion. 
Below the limits of adjustable conduct and behaviour, 
in the lower organic world, as in most oft the actual 
working of human and animal bodies', there is no 
need, as I have pointed out, 1 of finite mind for will 
or guidance. The mind which, if any, we presume 
to be present in a newt or an orchid, must be such 
as can have no relation in the way of guidance to 
the processes of organic " restitution " or the con- 
trivance of fertilisation. The highest human intel- 
lect could hardly contrive such devices, and there is 
in them no trace of the peculiarities which attend 
guidance by consciousness. It would be contrary 
to all our convictions to presuppose subjective mind 
to be present in a degree obviously irrelevant to any 
functions which it does, or apparently could, in such 
cases perform. Some shrinking from the hostile 
and attraction to the favourable there may be in the 
higher of the two cases mentioned, in the lower not 
even that can well be supposed. < A marvellous 
work of guidance is carried on, but not by finite 
subjective mind. This relation must be acknow- 
ledged and finally accepted. 

It is more difficult to limit the value of mind for 
appreciation. Why should not a plant enjoy its 
own being, or a mountain or the sea feel its own 

, power and persistence ? Of course we are here in 
a region with but little to sustain conjecture, but it 
seems worth observing that appreciation is of less 
interest as its object loses distinctiveness, and that, 
according to all presumptions of analogy as well as 
definite evidence, the capacity of consciousness for 

1 Lecture IV. above, and its Appendix II. 


distinctive apprehension must diminish as we go 
down the organic scale. We involuntarily ascribe to 
the higher animals some appreciation, analogous to 
ours, of tl^eir own grace and splendour. But even 
here we probably overstate. It is impossible to 
suppose that their own appearance is known to 
them, and that their apparent pride and pleasure in 
existence has any support beyond their immediate 
feeling of life and vigour. In love and loyalty to 
offspring and to their group their minds show the 
highest appreciative quality which we can discern in 
them, but this value or function of consciousness 
again, we should suppose, must disappear where 
there cease to be distinctive family relations, 
attended by a more or less constancy in a special 
behaviour towards certain units of the group. 

Thus even in the higher animal world, still more 
in that of the lower organisms, the function of 
appreciation can hardly be supposed to exist as a 
raison it fare of subjective mind. It is, on the other 
hand, emphatically present in the onlooker, the 
higher among finite spiritual beings, which, in a 
word, appreciate and understand the lower organic 
world very far better than that world can be sup- 
posed to appreciate and understand itself. Such an 
argument applies to the inorganic world very much 
more strongly. Suppose a mountain or a lake to 
have a dim subjectivity of its own, this consciousness 
can neither guide itself, nor again appreciate itself as 
the poet and artist can appreciate it. Whether 
or no it possesses a subjectivity, its subjectivity 
does nothing in the finite world. Its function 
is that of an object to the subjectivity of another, 
an externality correlative to finite mind, not 


that of a being which is itself a subject or finite 

Thus Pan-psychism seems to me a gratuitous 
hypothesis, depending on a hasty resolution of the 
responsiveness of Nature to mind by help of the 
idea of resemblance, and wholly failing to recog- 
nise the complementary functions of subjective 
mind on the one hand and externality on the other 
as together essential to any complete form of con- 
scious experience. 

starting ij. Suppose that now we start from the opposite 

Bother- point of view. Let us conceive of externality, of a 
arrived world having systematic determinations in space and 
contenf f|Crf ti me > whatever the secondary and tertiary qualities 
(e.g., aesthetic qualities) with which as fully experi- 
enced it may be endowed, as something comple- 
mentary to subjective mind, something apart from 
which mind would not be itself, would not be a self, 
would not be anything. In this case it would still, 
in a sense, be true that nature is plastic, is respon- 
sive to finite subjective mind, but its, external world 
would not, in principle, be held to be resolvable into 
elements which are themselves severally subjective 
centres. It would have a distinctive place and function 
as externality, in the finite world and in the universe, 
and that place and function would amount to nothing 
less than to be the source and storehouse of all 
positive properties, contents, and distinctions. We 
should still be able, if we liked, to say that it is a 
symbol of mind, the expression of will, or of intelli- 
gence (which of these we say really makes no differ- 
ence if we understand what we are talking about, 
for either is inseparable from what is expressed, and 
neither is a complete or felicitous description of it), 


and is the very content of our consciousness embodied 
in a form in which we learn to recognise it. 

But all this is a little unfair to the part really 
played by Nature. 

No doubt it does reveal a content which is the 
content of mind, but that does not mean that mind 
has ab initio the content in itself, and superfluously, 
de haul en has, comes to recognise it in nature. 
The content of mind is the content of Nature because 
Nature is the instrument or element of the Absolute 
by which the mind's own " nature " is communicated 
to it. On the other hand, the content of Nature is 
the content of mind, because it is only in the sphere 
of mind that Nature reveals, to begin with, anything 
at all, and a fortiori, that she reveals the possibilities 
of life and spirituality that are shut up within her. 
As we saw, it is all but impossible to distinguish 
Nature from mind. To separate them is impossible. 
If you ask, what in Nature is not mind, you can only 
answer, the fragmentary or disconnected qua frag- 
mentary or disconnected. If you ask what in mind 
is not Nature, you can only answer, the spirit of 
totality, the attitude which makes everything alive 
in its bearing on the whole. Thus we are careful 
not to libel Nature by saying that she has no mean- 
ing, no will (if we prefer the phrase) of her own, 
but simply borrows from ours. That would, in our 
view, be false and perverse. On the contrary, we 
have them to give her only because we take 
them, nay, we are and exist by taking them, from 
her. Mind has nothing of its own but the active 
form of totality ; everything positive it draws from 

The parallel in this respect between mind and 


life is striking, and appears to me to be insuffi- 
ciently observed. All those discussions which lay 
weight on the self-sufficingness of life and mind 
respectively as guides, initiators, contrivers among 
the forces and data of the environment, ignore the 
true parallelism and the relation to which it points. 

There is no credit or merit due to life or mind, 
as compared with the natural environment, on the 
ground of furnishing definite and special lines of 
variation, peculiar contrivances, adaptations, prin- 
ciples belonging to them and not to nature as con- 
trasted with them. Everything points to the 
general conclusion that life and mind respectively 
are the appearance at different stages of an omni- 
potential l principle, which elicits its whole definite 
content and development from its surroundings. In 
the case of life the general term for this evocation 
of form from the environment, whatever its detailed 
methods, is natural selection, 2 and the same term 
will serve, in a somewhat wider sense, for the 
evocation of finite mind. 3 In both cases the 
strength of the principle lies in what might be 
called its emptiness. It brings with it no content 
which could resist or oppose the organisation of all 
contents. And when we are told of the contrast of 
life with the supposed mechanical order of inorganic 
nature, we have to remember that within the realm 
of life itself, and above its first appearance in some 
speck of protoplasm, there is a huge world of 
development whose reactions are no less determi- 
nate, no less identical under identical conditions, 

1 The term is coined on the analogy of Driesch's " equi-potential 

2 See Lecture IV. above. 3 See second series. 


than those of the mechanical world proper. 1 So 
that within the realm of life itself there is just the 
same essential contrast, though beginning at a 
higher le\gel, as there is between process commonly 
held to be mechanical and the world of life as a 
whole the contrast between the uniformity of the 
responses to stimuli, and the adaptation and qualita- 
tive variety of the new developments. Thus the 
latter are not due to miraculous guidance and con- 
trivance on the part of life or mind per se within a 
homogeneous environment, any more than the 
earliest beginnings of organic life display powers of 
initiative and self- adaptation apart from relevant 
stimuli and occasions in the inorganic world. The 
real miracle lies in the significance hidden in Nature 
as a whole, and a counterpart miracle, if we like, in 
the omni-potentiality of life and mind, which, as the 
active forms of totality, are able, starting from a 
minimum of organisation or of subjective being, at 
apparently random points within the external world, 
to elicit into organisms, selves, and civilisations, in 
short, into a second nature, whatever is latent in 
the first. 

External nature, then, in the view here sug- 
gested, is not a masked and enfeebled section of 
the subject-world, but is that from which all finite 
subjects draw their determinate being and content, 
as the active form of totality is revealed in partial 
centres, according to some unknown law by which 

1 This is true of all the elementary phenomena of life, such as 
morphogenesis and restitution. I do not mean to suggest that there 
are in the universe any reactions which are not identical under iden- 
tical conditions. I only mean that in the lower organic world such 
reactions are as normal and as verifiable experimentally as in the 
physico-chemical world. 

2 B 


nature, under certain conditions only, becomes the 
vehicle of life and of subjective mind. Independent 
being we cannot ascribe to it, nor could we do so, 
in respect of its character as we are a^are of it, 
even supposing it an appearance of minds analogous 
to our own. For, so far as the outside is concerned, 
all the arguments for the impossibility of independ- 
ence in primary, secondary, and tertiary properties 
would retain their force. And nothing but the out- 
side has any portion in our world or any contact 
with us. We want it for the supply of content to 
our minds ; it is idle and superfluous to give it a 
mind of its own. Our minds are its own mind. 

Only, it must be repeated, this is not to deprive 
it of a being of its own, or to make it merely ancil- 
lary to the ends of humanity. 1 Our view is not that 
we bring with us ends which Nature is bound to 
subserve ; it is that Nature teaches us what are the 
ends of the universe (so far as in our given phase 
and rank we are able to appreciate them) and we 
are able to learn. It is a vice to t make humanity 
the end 2 unless all we mean by such phrases is that 
humanity has power to make its own the ends 
which the universe through Nature teaches it to 

3. The system of the universe, it was said in an 

1 Note Miinsterberg's just protest against this procedure, Eternal 
Values, p. 276. Contrast Man's Place in the Cosmos, vi. 61. 

2 Cf. Laurence Binyon, Painting in the Far East, p. 24 : " The 
high Renaissance pride and glow are apt to leave this bitter taste in 
the end. Absorption in man as the centre of the world and the hero 
of existence leads certainly to loss of that sanity and sweetness which 
an openness to the abiding presence of the non-human living world 
around us infuses into life. It is not by that absorption that we shall 
find the full meaning or animating power of our Western faith that in 
man the divinity is revealed." Cf. above, pp. 25-6. 


earlier lecture, might be described as a representa- Finite 
tive system. Nature, or externality, lives in the If v Tng S 
life of conscious beings. This characteristic is Natureand 
essential ^nd not incidental. We call Nature a th f^ b * 

solute an 

system in space and time ; but if, per impossibile, it everyday 

, . , i . , , , experience. 

were purely in space and time, then it 1 could be 
neither in the one nor in the other. Or, to put the 
point more simply and truly, space and time them- 
selves are hybrid forms of being. They are exter- 
nality and succession, presupposing a degree of 
unity which would annihilate them if it either were 
completed or were reduced to zero. Nature thus 
exists only through finite mind. But finite minds 
again exist only through nature. All finite minds 
focus and draw their detail from some particular 
sphere of external nature. They in some degree 
express and interpret the significance of external 
conditions for a focus of mind arising in and consti- 
tuting a certain concentration of them. Why it is 
so, in an ultimate sense, we can no more tell, than 
why the universe is what it is. But we can see 
that by such an arrangement the value of all that 
the universe contains may be elicited (supposing all 
to pass through finite minds) in its strength and 
purity on the one hand, and on the other brought 
into a form which lends itself to a yet fuller unity. 
Every instinct of what we call the lower creation, 
every feeling of joy, of energy, of love, even 
throughout the animal world, is the outcome of 
some set of external conditions as focussed in life 
and mind, and is fitted to pass as their crown and 
climax into that complete experience which is the 
life of the whole. 

It is difficult if we start from such a point of 


view, which nevertheless is almost a datum of fact, 
to understand the perplexity and hostility aroused 
by the conception of the Absolute. The truth 
seems to be that we have formed to ourselves a 
quite unreally hypostasised notion of the conscious- 
ness of finite minds, whether of the animal or of the 
human type. We seem unable to shake off the 
superstition which regards them as substances, 
crystal nuclei, fallen or celestial angels, or both at 
once. And if we deny these characteristics to the 
animal mind we probably for that reason get a truer 
notion of mind from it than from our traditional 
ideas of the human soul. 

The whole ground of discussion would be changed 
if we realised how every focus of consciousness is 
an effort, whose success is subject to constant and 
enormous fluctuations, to seize and make its own 
the value and significance of a world 1 beginning 
from some simple minimum of experience, but 
capable of extending far beyond, and appreciated 
only by fits and starts. So far fnom its being a 
strange or unwarranted assumption that the experi- 
ences of conscious units are transmuted, reinforced, 
and rearranged, by entrance into a fuller and more 
extended experience, the thing is plainly fact, which, 
if we were not blinded by traditional superstition, 
we should recognise in our daily selves as a matter 
of course. 2 We, our subjective selves, are in truth 
much more to be compared to a rising and falling 
tide, which is continually covering wider areas as it 

1 The idea, traceable, e.g., in James, that thinkers of Green's type 
take the finite to be merely the object of the Absolute knowledge and 
not a constituent of the Absolute energy has no foundation. Cf. 
James' Pluralistic Universe, p. 36. 

2 Cf. Lecture I. p. 27. 


deepens, and dropping back to narrower and shal- 
lower ones as it ebbs, than to the isolated pillars 
with their fixed circumferences, as which we have 
been taught to think of ourselves. 

If we start from such a point of view, for which 
there is ample suggestion in Plato, 1 the contro- 
versy about Monism assumes a new appearance. 
Pluralism, which indicates, so to speak, a vertical 
and not a horizontal division, into pillars and not 
into strata, falls away as relatively unimportant and 
superseded, though not wholly false. Multiplicism, 
the variety of levels of experience, each possessing 
its peculiar range and area, becomes the obvious 
truth. Dualism loses its prominence as the one 
antithesis of Monism, and the question of Monism 
and the Absolute becomes simply the question how 
far we are able to maintain a unity within multi- 
plicism while following it out into its higher, which 
are also necessarily its deeper, ranges. The general 
formula of the Absolute, I repeat, the transmuta- 
tion and rearrangement of particular experiences, 
and also of the contents of particular finite minds, 
by inclusion in a completer whole of experience, is 
a matter of everyday verification. The elements 
of our experience are transmuted by every change 
of work and of scene, and, in co-operation of several 
minds, the constituent elements of them all are 
modified into members of the new and common 
mind which arises. 2 It may be objected that this 

1 There is no reason for giving a pre-eminent place to " Dualism " 
in Plato's account of the levels of experience. We might just as well 
speak of his quadruplism or triplicism, or even multiplicism. 

2 For the facts on this head as recognised by modern Genosscn- 
schaftsrecht) so far as a corporate will is concerned, see Maitland's 
Introduction to his translation of Gierke's Political Theories of the 
Middle Ages. 


latter is a mere abstraction, depending on some one 
or two common objects with which the several 
minds come in contact. But in principle this is not 
so, though the unity may be of any Degree of 
depth or shallowness, and the utterance is much 
restricted as compared with the felt unity. The 
tendency of minds is always in forming a working 
whole to supplement and widen and reinforce each 
other on various sides and in innumerable details. 
In the inclusive spirit that is the result every mind 
contributes to the others something of its own mind 
and content, so that in proportion as they are thus 
deepened and widened together, the detail of the 
minimum consciousness of each, fears pains and 
perplexities, assumes quite a different value and 
colouring from that which they possess in the 
minimum of normal existence. 1 Our mere varieties 
of mood during the day produce an effect on us 
which is obviously analogous to this, owing to the 
different contents by which we are affected, and we 
experience every day and all day Jong the same 
kind of fluctuation in the value and relative signifi- 
cance of the details of existence. 2 

This then, so far from being an idealistic chimera, 
is the common law and fact of experience, as veri- 
fied both every day within what we uncritically take 
as our single private consciousness, so far as its 

1 See, e.g., Trevelyan's account of the Thousand under Gari- 
baldi. But the fact is not merely exceptional. All of us draw 
courage from our soldiers, industry from our workers, and so 
on. That is the true meaning of Plato's virtues of the Common- 

2 When James lays it down (Pluralistic Universe, p. 38) that 
"we must always experience the Absolute as if it were a foreign 
being," I feel on this point I have no common experience with him. 
See Lecture I. I.e. 


weakness may permit, 1 and on the larger scale when 
we compare together such creations as the State, 
and fine art, and religion, and when we note the 
mode of our private participation in them. 2 There 
is no magic in any precise enumeration of the levels 
of experience, such as Plato has thrown out on 
different occasions. You may take, as he has 
taken, for purposes of illustration, two main levels, 
or three, or four, or a great number. The point is 
not in the number chosen, but in the character of 
the transmutations ; and in the fact that they are 
not merely intellectual, but moral, aesthetic, and 
religious ; that they form, in fact, on the one hand, 
different worlds with different degrees of reality, 
though on the other hand they are nothing but one 
and the same world, more and less fully experienced. 3 

1 I mean that while every mind unquestionably shows a rise and 
fall of this nature, it is not every mind that reveals plainly the higher 
phases of experience. But as we shall see, something of these 
probably comes to all. 

2 The question of the nature of participation is no harder in 
principle, that I can sec, in the case of the Absolute than in the case 
of poetry. The fitct is, our conscious life, being a universal, is 
essentially a participation ; though ever varying, as we have said, 
in degree. 

3 I am sure that where we tend to go wrong in interpreting Plato, 
is by failing to combine the two principles on both of which his heart 
was set. Those who insist on the transcendent nature of the Forms 
are so far in the right, that it was Plato's main passion and the nisus 
of his inspiration to portray the gulf between the worlds in which 
different minds may actually live and move. At the same time, the 
whole significance of this contention is lost if it is not held together 
with the truth maintained by those who deny the transcendence, 
viz., that the world is above all things single, and the difference 
of worlds is wholly relative to degrees of impotence. In the passage 
about " faculties " and their objects, at the end of Rep. v., he is 
insisting on these two truths in language so forcible that we think he 
cannot mean what he says. " We do really" he seems to be saying, 
"live in different worlds according to the differing energy of our 
minds ; but again, it is only according to the differing energy of our 
minds that we do live in different worlds." 


The real 4. When these facts are given their due weight, 

thelrans" all difficulties in the conception of the Absolute are 

expanding * n principle removed. The positive proof in its 

power of favour rests logically on the principle of nan-contra- 

common o / i i ^ 

finite mind, diction, in respect of its positive bearing as explained 
in an earlier lecture. 1 When the nature of the 
normal process by which a contradiction is removed 
has once been appreciated and observed to be valid 
not merely in abstract cognition, but throughout all 
the regions of our experience, no difficulty of principle 
remains in affirming a complete unification in which 
all contradictions are destroyed, though diversity or 
a negative aspect of course remain. From finding 
our way among mountains to moulding our daily 
business with a self-consistent purpose or solving an 
economic problem, or discerning the reality of 
beauty through the appearance of ugliness, or the 
lovable through the apparent failings of character, 
we find from day to day how contradictory aspects 
blend into harmony as linking and distinguishing 
contents come into view. * 

But, it will be asked, do we not find the opposite? 
Does not greater knowledge bring greater suffering 
and the highest effort encounter the most insuper- 
able obstacles ? And the answer seems to be, that 
this is not so in any sense that could invalidate the 
principle on which we are proceeding. Every finite 
being has some limits : that does not surprise us, 
when once we understand what finiteness is. And 
its properties are ill-balanced ; that again does not 
surprise us. It is not a perfect microcosm or minia- 
ture of the universe ; so that its knowledge, love, 
and happiness do not keep step together. That is 

1 Lecture II. 


natural for beings which are fragments of a greater 
being. But all this granted, still, so far as the finite 
being lives a life at all, it affirms in its whole 
existence Jthe principle of the Absolute. It trans- 
mutes toil intp happiness by seeing it as a pledge of 
devotion, and pain into love by the depth of the 
tenderness it evokes, and hardship into courage by 
its revelation of what a man is able to be. That it 
fails in degree, and in degrees which are not con- 
comitant, is nothing at all against such an analysis 
of its nature if we have once accepted finiteness. 
We are not here preaching optimism or " justifying 
the ways of God. " We are doing something much 
more humble and critical. We are pointing out 
that transmutation of experience, in accordance with 
the law of non-contradiction in its positive bearing, 
is the principle of daily life. And if this is admitted 
here, there can be no reason for making it a 
fundamental difficulty when we come to deal 
with ultimate reality. There is no hiatus in the 

It is likely to be said that these appeals to daily 
fact and commonplace life add nothing to knowledge. 
But what is to be done ? The facts no doubt are 
familiar ; they are indeed commonplaces of litera- 
ture and practice. But their significance, to my 
amazement, seems never to be noted, and therefore 
it is essential to dwell on it. It seems well within 
the mark to say that a careful analysis of a single 
day's life of any fairly typical human being would 
establish triumphantly all that is needed in principle 
for the affirmation of the Absolute. For this is 
merely something more of what we are continually 
experiencing, and the hard and fast limits of range 


and quality often attributed to our self or personality 
are not to be found anywhere in the real world. 

When we come to the great achievements of 
knowledge, of social and super-social mprality, of 
the sense of beauty, and of religion, J:he argument 
that the limits of our normal self cannot be applied 
as limitations to our ultimate self becomes irresistible. 
But as, in this sphere, the principal transformations 
of the minimum self are already victoriously initiated, 
and in some degree set apart, the evidence of such 
transformations as normal facts of conscious living 
is actually less striking than in the course of a com- 
mon day when we are continually aware of their 
taking place. If I instance Plato or Shakespeare, 
the answer comes readily, " But you are not Plato 
or Shakespeare, far from it." The expansive power 
of the common mind is really the crux. 

5- Regarded from such a point of view the 
Absolute is simply the high-water mark of fluctua- 
ar a t ^ ons * n experience, of which, in general, we are 
fluctuation, daily anc j normally aware. 1 The evanescence of 
the limits of personality, or rather, their absorp- 

illustration. . . 1*1*1 11 

tion in an experience which is deeper as well as 
wider than our minimum self, as in the supersocial 

1 What is meant by the frequently reiterated criticism that the 
Absolute is non-human, is, as it were, divorced from human life, I am 
wholly unable to understand. Cf. James, tit. supra. If nothing 
more is meant than that it is not present in its full nature within any 
finite experience, this is nothing but a truism regarding any and 
every feature of the objective world in the commonest sense of the 
term the sun, history, love, or poetry. But if it is meant to deny 
that our experience is more human and valuable, as well as more 
solid and more verifiable, in proportion as we approach the Absolute, 
the denial is utterly futile and foolish. We experience nothing 
perfectly, but we experience the Absolute better than we experience 
anything else, because it is greater and because everything else we 
only experience among other things, the Absolute we experience in 
everything. Cf. Lecture I. 


activities ; l and also the transmutation of externality 
and obstruction into instruments and factors of 
more complete living, are in their general type 
familiar fapts of every day. The technical point lies 
in paying du attention, with Plato, to the levels of 
experience, as determined by the logical criterion, 
and not allowing ourselves to be obsessed by con- 
sideration of its divisions into partially exclusive 
centres. 2 Of course, and fortunately, finite excel- 
lence is much broken up and subject to division of 
labour. It is not as if some persons were at the 
highest level in everything, and the rest nowhere. 3 
If we adequately noted the meaning of the 
" philosophic " spirit in Plato, we should see that 
he leaves plenty of room in the highest place for 
the Treasure of the Humble. 4 It is his purely 
diagrammatic representation of the ultimate co- 
herence of all excellences, which is true in principle, 
that suggests the reverse to superficial readers. 

Let us have the audacity to select an actual work 
of man as a remote analogue of the Absolute, simply 

1 Cf. Philosophical Theory of the State, 2nd ed., Introduction. 
I have there pointed out that such supersocial activities as Art and 
Religion are at once the quintessence of social life, and beyond its 
machinery of explicit group- relations. Sec further Appendix II. below. 

2 We shall return to this subject in the second series. 

3 What those who call the Absolute non-human (and a fortiori I 
suppose non-animal) make of the dog that dies for its master, or the 
sparrow for her young, not to speak of the love of mothers, and the 
devotion of comrades among the poor, I cannot imagine. It is no 
answer to say that these are not the whole Absolute in its full 
transcendent nature. They are transcendent, in the only true sense, 
and it is in and through them, with other elements, that we faintly 
learn what experiencing it means. 

4 The title of Maeterlinck's well-known work. See on this whole 
point R. L. Nettleship, Remains^ vol. i. p. 385 : " In the heart and 
on the lips of Plato the love of wisdom is itself that divine foolishness, 
that strength in weakness, before which the cunning of the world and 
the pageantry of power fade and are discomfited." 


in order to explain the general structure which we 
attribute to it in respect of nature and of finite 

Let us think of the mind of Dante as pttered in 
the Divine Comedy, in relation, on the, one hand, to 
the spatial universe, and more particularly to Italy, 
and also, on the other hand, to the characters, the 
selves, represented in his poem. 

In the first place, externality, the country of 
Italy, and in a lesser degree the universe, 1 as an 
extension in space and time, is there in the experi- 
ence. It is not destroyed or abstracted from, but 
yet appears throughout as something more than 
extension in space and time as expression, char- 
acter, emotion, of a kind, however, in which real 
externality is involved. It is needless to labour the 
point. Dante is, under reservation for his peculiar 
place in history, the voice of Italy, as Shakespeare 
is of England. Each of them is his country " come 
alive. n In such a passage as "I ruscelletti," 2 we 
see how, by the alchemy of genius, external Nature, 
while still external, has passed into a concrete 

In the next place, the selves who figure in the 
poem have all rendered up their content to the 
great experience which was the poet's mind, and are 
constituent parts of it ; while none the less it is 
necessary for its effectiveness as a poem, that they 
should be regarded as acting and thinking beings 

1 Dante's misconception of the universe from the scientific point 
of view, partly, I suppose, wilful and allegorical, is irrelevant here. 
So is the element of pessimism in his theology. The question is 
merely of the development of fact in his imagination. 

2 Inferno, xxx. 64. The observation might be extended to the 
whole structure of the universe, as Dante has framed it in his 


for themselves and in the outer world. For pur- 
poses of the analogy, it does not matter greatly 
whether a poem is purely imaginative, or, like 
Dante's, semi-historical. Always it presumes and 
presents the selves as real agents in the historical or 
external field, though it also makes them part of a 
vision of reality more profound and complete than 
they themselves, or the onlooker at prosaic or at 
poetic history, are supposed to recognise. But it is 
to be emphasised that the selves, however on the one 
side to be taken as historically or externally actual, yet 
are not pure separate objects, disconnected from the 
mind which is the poem, merely mirrored by it, and 
existing outside and for themselves only. On the 
contrary, all of these selves are in their degree par- 
ticipants in the moods, volitions, and perceptions 
which, taken as a whole of experience, are the 
substance and tissue of the poet's mind in the poem 
the conflicting passions of Italy, of the Empire 
and the Papacy, in a word, of human nature within 
a certain historical region. In accordance with the 
view maintained above, 1 all the minds are con- 
templated as actually extending in various degrees 
beyond their minimum point of historical attach- 
ment ; 2 and in the levels and ranges of being which 
they achieve embody all varieties up to the range 
and level of the poem itself. In Vergil and 
Beatrice the level of the poem of the poet's 
imaginative vision is even supposed to be tran- 
scended, and here, therefore the analogy to the 
Absolute must fail. But it is good as suggesting the 
nature of finite participation in reality, through the 

1 Lecture III. p. 115. 
2 This point will be more fully considered in the second series. 


varying grasp and fluctuating power of the selves 
which constitute it. In principle, we see, the Abso- 
lute is only the totality of a hold on reality which 
permeates in its degree all the conscious creatures 
of the creation, and uses all its externality. 

Finite selves, then, reveal themselves as the 
copula, 1 the living tension, by which the full experi- 
ence affirms itself in and through externality just as 
through certain selves Dante's mind laid hold of 
Italy and the world. Every self, as we have seen, 
is the representative centre of an external world ; 
some nature " comes alive " in it. Every self par- 
takes in some degree of selves and experiences 
beyond its own centre or minimum, and so expands 
from its place in nature to a more or less wide and 
deep participation in the Absolute ; within which 
expansion, as by all inclusion of content, some 
degree of transmutation is effected in the matter 
of the selves and experiences which it partially 

The Absolute, finally, as remotely suggested by 
the whole experience which is the living form and 
substance of the poem the poem as a thought and 
mood in its fullest completeness 2 is a perfect union 
of mind and nature, absorbing the world of Nature 
by and through the world of selves. Every self is 
a copula, a meeting point of tension and fulfilment, a 
self-maintenance of the one life through a portion of 
the external, and of the external as centred in a 
case of the one life. But, as it is distantly figured 
in the poem, the complete experience brings to- 

1 Cf. Hegel, Wiss. d. Logik, iii. 72. 

2 A poem exists in many degrees ; cf. A. C. Bradley, Oxford 
Lectures, p. 28. 


gether all the selves, with nothing omitted, 1 but 
transformed and expanded by the place they hold 
and the illumination they receive in it. Such inci- 
dents as those of Paolo and Francesca, of Ugolino, 
or of Ulysses, are worth many pages of theory, when 
we come to ask ourselves how there can be meaning 
in speaking of an actual historical self as transformed 
and expanded in the reality. 

Such phrases as transformed, transmuted, ex- 
panded, indeed, though convenient for our procedure, 
which naturally makes its start from the common 
facts of our lives, are in one way false and mis- 
leading. The true normal, of course, is the real ; 
and it is the self as we know him in Space and 
Time whether our own self or that of others who 
is a figure deformed and diminished, as we see him, 
by our impotence to attain the grasp which holds 
all being in one, and by the individual being 
narrowed down for us into an appearance, 2 in- 
complete and successive, in actual history. As 
we saw above, 3 this naturally happens to every 
aspect of a supreme whole, and must happen to 
it if a system of finite centres is to be the rule of 
the universe. Nature must drop down almost 4 into 
space and time, selves must drop down into con- 
sciousnesses only partly transcending their spatio- 

1 Obviously this is a characteristic which cannot be reproduced 
in a finite example. But it is well to remember that if Shakespeare 
were to portray one of us, he would tell us a great deal more of our- 
selves than we, or common history, were aware of. 

2 This is quite recognised by common sense in such matters as, 
e.g., the attempt to pass final moral judgments. Mr. McTaggart has 
somewhere a fine speculation that the love which clings to the "worth- 
less " has divined a truth beyond our knowledge, and I do not doubt 
that this idea, which common feeling strongly supports, is sound. 

8 Lecture VII. 3. 

4 For the reason why one must say "almost," see above, p. 371. 


temporal limits ; the concrete vision of mind must 
drop down into a degree of relative separation as 
Nature and as subjects. But it is all-important for 
us to note, as we insisted in the passage referred 
to, that the dissociation of the Absolute (to employ 
this expression in our own sense), which is met 
with in daily life, never at all approaches complete- 
ness. There is no fusion or union which we can 
conceive ourselves bound to ascribe to the Absolute 
in its own form, which has not something to repre- 
sent it in the world of time and space. Take the 
case of these abstractions themselves, which we 
hypostasise really owing to the mere custom of 
current talk, where their names have such glib 
currency. We remember that no mere time and 
space, and no being merely in time or space, are 
or can be present in our own experience. 1 

This stubborn dissociation of the Absolute, how- 
ever, the rule and essence of finite life, is an obstacle 
to the effectiveness of our illustration which only a 
vigorous sympathy with its intention can even in 
part overcome. But it is something to recognise 
where precisely the difficulty lies. In actual exist- 
ence Dante's poem was a great imaginative creation 
in a single human mind. 2 The nature and history 
with which it dealt were separate and independent 
facts, outside it, as we should say, and merely more 
or less reflected in it. But all we can use in our 
comparison is not the actual independent historical 
or natural fact, but only the reflection or interpreta- 
tion of this fact within the imaginative product of 

1 See above, p. 371. 

2 For our purpose we may disregard its reproduction in other 


Dante's mind. And so, of course, we are liable to 
convey the impression that we are content to re- 
present reality rocks and streams, men and cities 
as the figures of somebody's dream. 

But this is to ignore our point. Our meaning 
depends on placing ourselves within the world of 
Dante's imagination, and taking its nature and its 
figures (whether in fact " historical " or purely 
poetical), as his imagination necessarily took them, 
for the actual scenery and inhabitants of that 
" actual " world. And what we are to learn from 
this effort is, we suggest, something of the true 
relation between an actual Nature and personalities, 
as we habitually regard them, on the one hand for 
Dante's imagination clearly brings beings like these 
before itself and us and the spiritual interpretation 
which exhibits all these facts, on the other hand, as, 
without detriment to their actuality l elements in a 
vast unitary vision and experience constituting a 
single spiritual world. It is not merely what we 
have in Wordsworth, or any spiritual interpretation 
of life. For we here have actual persons shown as 
moving freely, and obviously themselves and self- 
determined, while no less obviously, though merely 
through a deeper insight into their selves, exhibited 
as elements within an embracing spiritual universe, 
the universe as present to Dante's imagination. 
And this spiritual world we feel on the whole with 
immense reservations not to be an arbitrary and 
artificial comment on the imagined factual history 
as lying outside it, but to be of the nature of a 
revelation of the true appearance which such a 
history might yield under intense illumination, < 

1 The imagined actuality of the imaginative world. 

2 C 


without detriment to its factual objectivity for the 
common eye. 

In the ultimate reality known to us as our 
everyday world which we were thus attempting 
to illustrate, we are confronted, as I said, with a 
far more stubborn dissociation. Here the element 
corresponding to the unitary experience embodied 
in Dante's poem is prima facie wanting. What 
confronts us in everyday life is a huge obstinate 
plurality of independent facts. So we are told. 
In a large measure, as I said at starting, I deny the 
statement. But let us take it at its worst. In face 
of this obstinate dissociation, what I have attempted 
to effect, and what is summarised in the final illus- 
tration, is to show, both by systematic logic, and by 
the interrogation of our higher obvious experience, 
1 that our life, within the region of genuine fact, 
contains uncounted degrees of power and insight, 
by which, without in any way denying that things 
are what they are, we can attain to some beginning 
and can frame some positive conception of what 
more l they must be, and how if we take them as 
such a " more/ 1 they are at once more themselves, 
and plainly indicate their dissociation to be a 
character of partial reality, and their full nature 
to lie in the universe of a single experience. 

This concludes our general theory of the self- 
interpretation of the real through the fundamental 
principle of individuality. Another year, we shall, 
I hope, be able to pursue in detail the ideas which 
it leads us to entertain of man's worth and destiny. 

1 See author's Logic, 2nd ed, ii. 301 on the fallacy of withdrawal 
or abstraction in the search for reality. 



I SUBjOilT in an Appendix a discussion of some recent 
and special rfletaphysical doctrines of the Absolute. In 
the following book I shall attempt to work out its 
relation to the individual as it affects our conception of 
his fortunes and destiny. 

I . The eternal character of the Absolute, its inclusion An aii- 
of all succession in a non-temporal whole, has lately been ^ 
affirmed to be explicable by the doctrine of the span of conscious- 

, , i . ,1 ness either 

consciousness and the specious present. 1 transforms 

Our present is undoubtedly perceived as a solid a the events 

i 1 A i ^ , or is no 

duration and not as a vanishing point between past and 
future. Postulate so I understand the argument the 
same character for an all-inclusive experience, and you 
may regard it as seeing the whole series of events at a 
blow, just as we may hear a sentence or a musical phrase 
as a single thing. This is all the secret of eternity, it is 
suggested, and there is nothing more. The succession of 
events is before the Divine Mind 2 as the notes of a single 
musical phrase may be before our mind ; in one sense, 
all at once, in another sense, as a succession. Its span of 
consciousness can embrace an infinite succession as a 

I will go at once to the fundamental difficulty of 
principle which I feel in this hypothesis. Among the 
occurrences which are present as at once to a conscious- 
ness with a protracted time-span, the later must either 
modify the earlier, or not. If they do 3 it is impossible 
that the string of events can remain, in actual content, 
within a longer span of consciousness, what they were, or 
could be, within a shorter. A man passes, say, four hours 

1 Royce, World and Individual^ ii. 145 ff. 

2 I do not gather that any difference between God and the 
Absolute is treated as relevant here. 

3 This seems to me the fact in any portion of succession appre- 
hended as a whole. 


in misery because he fancies that a friend has taken 
offence at some act of his. At the end of the four hours 
he becomes aware that he was mistaken, and his distress 
is dispelled. If the later contents act on the earlier 
within the same specious present of the longer span of 
consciousness, in the same way as they tfo within the 
shorter specious present of an ordinary consciousness, the 
four hours' interval of distress must for such a conscious- 
ness cease to exist as such. It cannot help being trans- 
formed, and turned, on the whole, to a feeling partaking 
of gladness. Granting that the supposed omnipresent 
mind is merely a spectator, still a spectator for whom the 
end is within one and the same specious present as the 
beginning cannot regard that beginning as one does who 
has it without the end. I am far from denying, however 
I am, indeed, anxious to assert that in the larger reality 
thus envisaged the sorrow must survive, and, blending 
with the subsequent joy, give rise to a content different 
from either. Still, there must be a transformation. 1 If 
again within the one specious present the later occurrences 
do not modify the earlier, if that is to say, as in a 
common temporal succession, the earlier are not influenced 
till the later have occurred, then we have no trans- 
mutation, but only a fixed panorama of exactly the 
same occurrences which form a diorama for the man who 
goes through them. This gives a mere aggregate or 
congeries. Omniscience is then to see in any lapse of 
successive events nothing more than a finite being would 
see so far as he followed that identical lapse. 2 Surely 
this will not do. Though nothing is omitted in the 
perfect mind, everything must be transformed ; and the 

1 Such a fusion may be read backwards, i.e. taking the complete 
unity as starting point according to the conception of the dissociation 
of the Absolute ; and thus we should obtain a lifelike idea of the way 
in which want and fulfilment are dragged apart by appearance in the 
finite realm. 

2 The point is illustrated by Kant's idea that God would see in a 
unity what for us is the unending moral progression. How as a 
unity ? The idea is meaningless unless it involves a transformation 
in kind. 


bare events as we (by superficial abstraction) say that 
" we " know them, cannot be what take place for the 
Divine Mind or the Absolute. Applying our former 
arguments we see that this is inconceivable. For the 
so-called ftare events are not the same for any two human 
beings, whether agents or observers. How can they 
possibly be the same for a finite spectator and for the 
perfect mind ? On this showing, a doctor or an expert 
magistrate, not to speak of a Dante or a Shakespeare, 
would be far better off than the Absolute experience. 
For unquestionably to spectators so qualified, occurrences 
.which are dumb and single happenings to the sufferer 
and to the ordinary looker-on will reveal themselves as 
steps in a destiny, and as phases of recovery or of 

2. A difficult problem, that of loss or forfeiture Perfection 
through advance towards totality, must just be mentioned [""f^ "" 
here. The complete mind, it will be urged, though it perfection, 
cannot accept the four hours' misery as final, must be ^ 
able to appreciate the feeling of the finite mind which 

r , | , t we seldom 

for the moment does so. find tljat 

In this sense it must include the aggregate of incidents ft 
as well as their transformation. Every perfection, it 
would seem, however in principle inclusive, must super- 
sede or thrust out some other appearance or expression, 
unless, what seems inconceivable and what we have just 
rejected, there are also reproduced by literal repetition 
innumerable variations that fall within it. How far, and 
by what rule, does the truer truth, the more perfect art, 
the higher religion, the more total and complete reality, 
supersede and render obsolete and fit to be blotted out 
the tentative or imperfect or one-sided phase of either? 
For all of these, though more satisfactory and more 
complete than their ruder forerunners (taking as a good 
example the relation of successful to tentative effort) yet 
are different from them. The picture may in a sense 
include the sketch ; but the sketch has a something that 
we miss in the picture. Can the divine being, or the 
Absolute, not apprehend or feel imperfectly, and would 
such inability be a defect? 


Now how far is this to be pressed ? I do not think 
we escape by saying that though he cannot apprehend 
imperfectly, he can apprehend my imperfect apprehension. 
Is every point of view, for instance, from which my eye 
(and, of course, that of every sentient being) has un- 
thinkingly contemplated every scene it has ever rested 
on, to be recorded eternally in the tablets of omniscience 
or at least of omni-experience ? Or, putting the question 
in the difficult form from which we started, can a value, 
which is held to be superseded by inclusion, as in art or in 
cognition, 1 be dropped and pass away without loss to the 
whole ; or if not, must every step and essay and partial 
failure enter separately and in its own right' 2 ' into the 
content of the supreme experience? In principle, the 
answer can hardly be doubtful. We saw, in the first case 
under the theory of the extended specious present, what 
the result must be. There must be inclusion and trans- 
mutation. You cannot heap up contents, all relevant to 
each other, within a single experience, and prevent them 
from reacting on each other. A hope, and its fulfilment 
in an unhoped-for form, will not stay apart if the 
impotence that was the barrier is withdrawn ; and in their 
fusion the whole hope itself must become another thing 
from what it was, 

For the perfect experience, then, the contents and 
values must be, so to speak, like solids. "Accidental 
views," imperfect essays, lower forms of beauty and good- 
ness, must be experienced within the totals which must 
gain depth and weight from all that has led up to them. 
The quality of the sketch must be found in the picture ; 
the picture must be differently apprehended because of 
the sketch which went before it. But occurrences cannot 
be eternised as a detached and dispersed congeries of 
facts, as if one were to preserve a Galtonian photograph 
in the form of all the images which came together to 

1 Like the early astronomical theories in comparison with de- 
veloped modern astronomy. 

2 This, of course, is the difficulty. If we allow transmutation and 
inclusion all becomes easy. 


compose it. In coming to this conclusion, we must be 
careful not to appeal to the difficulty of supposing the 
supreme experience to include and retain so many facts. 
That would be very crude anthropomorphism. Our 
argument jrests on the necessary fusion of experiences 
relevant to each other. But if we maintain this point 
of principle we may agree that the dissociation, the 
realisation of the particular, which gives value to the 
total, enters largely into the experience of the total. 

Transmutation then, must be the rule in the complete 
experience. Everything must be there, as all the artist's 
failures, and the fact of failure itself, are there in his 
success. But they cannot be there as analysed into 
temporal moments and yet drawn out unchanged into 
a panorama within a specious present of immeasurable 

3. It has been urged that the Absolute is will and Absolute 
purpose. The matter has often been dealt with. 1 But ^ n * te 
I will mention one point following from our earlier argu- purpose 
ments which seems to me decisive. A purpose, or a will, t h^!^ us 
can never be the whole of a world. A purpose always always be 
means that, founding yourself on matter accepted as a ^\^ m 
basis, you recognise a certain alteration as essential in wholes. 
view of the admitted situation, for the restoration or 
partial restoratibn of harmony. Ex nihilo nihiL You 
cannot gather material for purpose out of no situation. 
The content you are impelled to produce must be relative 
to a content which you admit. The same is true of Will, 
and of Ought. 2 You cannot say, without basis or prelimi- 
nary, " I ought to do this." That would indeed be a 
judgment such as could not be logically supported. It is 
the defect of all these positions, those which make Purpose, 
Will, or Ought into ultimate determinants, that they 
accept a violently unsystematic procedure of valuation 
after the apparent fashion of Kant's Ethics. " Ought " 
must always mean the satisfaction of a nature ; but you 
cannot express the satisfaction of a nature ohne weiteres 

1 See, e.g.) Appearance, p. 483 ff. 
2 Cf. Royce, World and Individual, ii. 36 ff. 


by saying " ought" You may say, perhaps, ab initio> " I 
ought to do something " " I want " " My nature cries 
out for a fulfilment " of some kind ; though even to do 
that you must postulate a certain kind of nature in your- 
self. But certainly what I ought to do must ftome from 
an accepted basis of content, a selection of objects to 
be achieved, suitable to a need or want, itself determined 
by a contradiction in some existing situation. In a word ; 
every want, will, purpose, or ought, is a partial phenome- 
non within a totality. 

But how, it may be retorted, do you get any basis l 
except by an ought ? Why accept, e.g^ the Law of Non- 
Contradiction on which we ourselves laid such stress in an 
earlier Lecture, except by an acknowledgment that you 
ought to accept it ? Now we may construe, if we like, 
our actual participation in the life of the world as an 
acknowledgment that we ought to accept something or 
other. It is an artificial mode of statement ; for we 
have been participants in the world long before a question 
whether we ought to be so could possibly be raised, and 
for most people it is never raised at all. But this, it 
might be answered, is mere history, not justification. 
When once it is put to us, why accept the principle 
of positive non-contradiction ? Why do we affirm it 
except that we feel we ought, or will?* But the prior 
answer lies in the nature of our world. It is a world 
whose implications are of such a type, and within which 
oneself is so implicated, that even in refusing to accept it, 
as was explained in an earlier chapter, we already are 
accepting it. In trying to reject, we are meddling with 
our world, and owing to its nature, are accepting our 
implication in it. What we are must determine what 
we owe. 

It is a condition of our willing that we cannot will two 
contradictories at once ; but we cannot find ourselves 
willing that two contradictories at once shall be unwill- 
able. It would be setting out to make a condition which 
is presupposed in the making of any condition. That one 

1 See Royce, I.e. 


contradictory excludes the other is a basal condition 
of the world, revealed by the analysis of its structure ; l 
that we accept it in approaching any matter of theory or 
practice is a consequence of our accepting participation in 
the world; and this depends upon the datum that our 
nature is to be a world, and apart from this acceptance, 
no ought can appeal to us. 

Will and Ought, in a word, are the properties of a 
world that mends discrepancies within itself by a process 
in time. There can be no will or ought except on the 
basis of a presupposed reality, within which non-adjust- 
ment calls for adjustment If you so much as acknow- 
ledge a fact because you ought, the meaning of that 
is that you cannot at once reject it and retain the world 
which you presuppose. 

Therefore it seems unintelligible for the Absolute or 
for any perfect experience to be a will or purpose. It 
would be a meaningless pursuit of nothing in particular. 
If the pursuit is to be intelligible, it must be rooted in an 
actuality that makes it inevitable. To say that the 
reality as a whole may contain an untold number of finite 
purposes, and must itself include a satisfaction in which 
purpose and fulfilment are one, is another thing. 

4. It is said that the Absolute may or must contain Numerical 
a numerical infinity of elements, say, of selves. The Ti^hybric 
analogy of a " self-representative " system, such as the doctrine, 
system of numbers viewed with reference to certain corre- 
spondences within it, has been invoked to support this 

I have referred to this subject in an earlier Lecture, 2 
but will summarise my position here. The doctrine of 
the self-representative system, at least in its application to 
the infinity of a conscious whole, is a curious hybrid. It 
shows the characteristics of both the types of totality 3 

1 It is a postulate, of course, in the sense in which all laws of 
experience are so, />. they work first, and are reflectively established 
afterwards. This is the rule of all developing mind ; it is more than 
it knows itself to be. 2 Lecture II. p. 38 note. 

3 Of course an idealist will not admit that the "false" infinity 
is a true totality. I therefore use the word under protest. 


which Idealists have been accustomed to call the true and 
false infinity. It was first introduced, one gathers, as a 
defence of numerical infinity as an actual given fact. 
Waiving objection to this doctrine, 1 we saw that it seemed 
to promise nothing from our point of vie wt desirable. 
Numerical recurrences ad infinitum, however arranged in 
series linked by correspondences, revealed in themselves 
nothing valuable. 

But the infinity of recurrences came to be represented 
as an infinite fountain of various and valuable content, an 
unfailing source of diversity in unity. 2 This is new 
matter in the doctrine of the numerical infinite, but very, 
old and familiar matter in the doctrine of real infinity. 
The two gain nothing by their marriage in the self- 
representative system. As thus united they claim infinity 
on one ground and value on another. The numerical 
series has recurrence ad infinitum, and borrows value from 
a development of content, which, though not wholly 
absent, is slighter than in any other conceivable type of 
whole. The system of content has value of its own, but 
borrows infinity from a system of recurrences funda- 
mentally alien to it. 

In truth, surely, the Absolute, like any high experi- 
ence, is not numerable. 3 You cannot enumerate the 
members of a poem or picture, or of a* great character. 
You can find in them numerable parts, but these are not 
their parts. That is to say, the numerable parts are not 

1 Perhaps, however, I had better repeat, for clearness* sake, the 
objection, that while I very well see how a formula or definition of 
the kind suggested can involve or necessitate, if it is to be realised 
in number, a system of infinite series, I cannot see how the infinite 
series in question can be said to be " given" in it, any more, in 
principle than the complete evaluation of TT is given in the idea of TT. 

2 Royce, World and Individual, i. 508, 576. I may say, 
in view of p. 508, that I have nowhere in my Logic spoken of 
wearisomeness or of want of interest in connection with infinite num- 
bers. My typical case in attacking the false Infinity has always 
been the attempt to solve a problem by a method irrelevant to its 
nature. Cp. also Taylor, Metaphysic, 116, 148 if. 

8 See R.L. Nettleship in Review of Archer-Hind's Timaeus (Mind, 
xiv. 131). 


relevant to the sense in which such wholes are experi- 
enced when experienced as they are meant to be or fitted 
to be. 1 When a man reads a poem, as a poem is fitted 
to be read, there is no place in his mind for number. 
But if the inspiration leaves him, he may count the lines, 
words, and syllables, and count them, if he likes, over and 
over again. But, though he may count them for ever, he 
will never reach the poem by that road, any more than he 
will get parallels to meet by producing them. 2 So with the 
Absolute. If interpreted irrelevantly and dragged down 
out of its nature, it may be analysable into infinite selves, 
infinite sensations, infinite pleasures and pains ; what 
does it matter ? In the first place this does not show a 
given quantitative infinity, for an infinity is not given by 
a fact or formula being given which generates a persistent 
failure to re-express it in another medium, any more than 
meeting parallels are given if we say they meet at infinity. 
And in the second place, if it was a given quantitative 
infinity, that would not thereby be shown to be the 
nature of the Absolute, because the Absolute, as we said, 
is not, qua infinite and self-complete, numerable at all. 
Its self-representation, like that of any high experience, is 
of a wholly different order. It stops the recurrent series, 
and does not prolong them. 8 That the higher experi- 
ences involve an extreme precision and delicacy of 
adjustment, as we have maintained throughout, is another 
affair. The old example of the fine adjustment of a 
moral act to the situation is enough to exhibit the sense 
in which this is the case. See Appendix II. 

1 See Professor A. C. Bradley, Oxford Lecture on Poetry ', p. 14 ff. 

2 Cf. author's Logic, 2nd ed., i. 162. 

3 See Lecture II. p. 38 note. 






The mini- i. EVERY soul of every creature, such is Aristotle's start- 
of U (iuty Ct * n S point, has a form, or possible perfection, which the 
universe is striving in it to bring to completion through 
its life. 

In the human soul every stage towards this completion 
may be called an excellence or virtue ; and of these excel- 
lences or virtues there are two general divisions. There 
are first the excellences of man's compound nature, in 
which feeling and desire are learning submission to the 
law of reason. These he calls the " ethical " virtues ; a 
term which we, somewhat unfortunately, have taken up 
and rendered as if equivalent to all that we understand 
by moral excellence. They derive their name, for him, 
from their connection with habit ; they are qualities or 
rather attitudes of soul which we acquire in society, and 
in the main through assimilating the social tradition. 
Temperance, courage, gentleness, generosity, with many 
like them, are Aristotle's excellences of man's compound 
nature, or excellences of habituation, ethical excellences. 

The other set of excellences are the excellences of the 
intellectual part, the so-called intellectual virtues. But 
I will say at once that we commit a mere misconstruction 
if we take them to be excellences of intellectual capacity ; 
as we might say, memory, or mathematical talent, or the 
power of learning languages. The dominant ones at least 
are nothing of this kind ; they are clearly, as we shall 
see, the excellences of good life and habit, exalted, rein- 
forced and reinterpreted by passing into the region of 
principle and of great ideas. Intelligence is not an 
exclusive part, but is the form of the whole. 

Now let us begin to sketch the nature of a single act 
of duty, as Aristotle conceives it, and trace from that 


point the expansion of the moral horizon, till time and 
place fall away or rather are rounded into a whole and 
morality passes into religion. 

2. The simplest moral duty has for Aristotle a double The ex- 
aspect. TJhe motive of the citizen who gives his life for ^Jj" t 
his country, fpr example, is described in a curious two- involves. 
fold language, the significance of which is not difficult to * ean 
see. He does the act of duty for its own sake. There the precise 
is in it something absolute. If it were done for the sake 

of something beyond, of praise or gain, it would no longer excellence 
be the act it seemed to be. This we can see at once. But 
again ; this and every act of duty is performed for the 
sake of the beautiful for in all virtue this is the motive. 
And here again we have no doubt what is meant. The 
duty is done for its own sake, for the sake of what it is. 
But the conception of what it is is capable of expansion. 
" For the sake of the beautiful " a widening horizon is 
set before us by this description of the moral motive. 
What is the moral beautiful ? If we fully understood the 
simplest act of duty, what is it that according to Aristotle 
we should see there ? 

Let me illustrate further by the famous doctrine of 
the mean, the definition of an ethical excellence. An 
ethical virtue or excellence of man's compound nature is 
an attitude of will, " being in a relative mean defined 
by a ratio, and by whatever the man of practical wisdom 
would define it by." 

I will not enter into negative criticism. I shall say at 
once what I think it signifies, having just pointed out 
that once more it refers us to something on ahead to 
the man of practical wisdom. 

We must have observed in any such form of conduct 
as an act of beneficence, or munificence, how infallibly 
the churl in spirit betrays himself, to use Aristotle's 
phrase, in the quantity or degree or time or place or 
manner or personal relations of his action. Only the 
true motive gives you the perfect act. The brave man 
again ; how hard it is to be brave, and gentle, and modest, 
and calm, and wise. The brave and noble soul, and it 
alone, will ring true in every side and aspect of its act ; 


time, place, manner, degree, behaviour to persons ; all the 
characters which make up an act whose quality takes 
form in quantity, and is adapted to the situation with a 
beautiful adequateness, in every detail just right, neither 
too little nor yet too much, like the petals of a rf se. Such 
an action is a manifestation of an excellence, a soul 
rightly tempered and attuned, a disposition or attitude 
of mind that is the " mean " or adjusted condition relative 
to or demanded by the situation. 

So far, then, the horizon has expanded. The excellent 
action, done for its own sake, which is for the sake of the 
beautiful, is now understood to be an act expressive of 
a state of soul rightly attuned so that in every detail 
and quantitative particular its utterance hits what is 
appropriate and adequate. 

But there is something more ; this temper or attitude 
does not explain itself, and the phrase which described 
it, at the same moment beckoned us forward to a further 
standard. The mean adjustment or ratio which was the 
characteristic of the excellent attitude of soul was not yet, 
we saw, thoroughly defined. It is an adjustment to cir- 
cumstances ; but an adjustment in the interests of what ? 
The answer was given by a reference to something not 
yet stated. The mean is determined by a further stand- 
ard ; and the standard is the right ratifi, and whatever 
the man of practical wisdom would determine. 
The 3. This is a reference forward from the first half of 

fnvobTJd the treatise to the second half. Let us recapitulate, 
in moral Every act of the compound nature of man his combined 
Practical reason and desire which is excellent, or an act of virtue, 
wisdom, is done, we saw, at once for its own sake, and for the 
sake of the beautiful. That is to say, its own nature, 
being more fully understood, is one with the nature of 
the beautiful. Wishing to know to what this points us 
forward, we found that such an act, as an expression of 
virtue, is something perfectly adequate and adjusted to 
the situation, right in every particular, in every detail. 
If the motive or attitude of soul were in any way wrong 
or imperfect, the act would betray it at once by passing 
over into exaggeration or deficiency at some one of its 


innumerable aspects and peculiarities. What should be 
courage, for example, would be vulgar, or ostentatious, 
or rash, or false, or wanting to itself in resolution or in 
tranquillity or in gentleness. 

' The churl in spirit, howe'er he veil 
1 His want in forms for fashion's sake, 
Will let his coltish nature break 
At seasons through the gilded pale, 
For who can always act ? 

We can understand that a moral perfection which results 
in a reliably perfect expression may be called beautiful, 
but still we have not learned in the interest of what cen- 
tral principle our adjustments are to be determined, and 
we have been referred to something that lies ahead. 

The standard, we are told, lies in what is determined 
by the man of practical wisdom. What is practical 
wisdom, and where does it obtain its standard ? 

We said that besides the excellences of man's com- 
pound nature, Aristotle ascribes to him what he calls the 
intellectual excellences ; not, we said, such capacities as 
memory, or scientific acumen, or creative genius, but 
rather the content of good life, when raised to a level of 
principle and systematic insight, as opposed to mere 
habituation and Customary self-control. 

According to Aristotle, the two intellectual excellences 
are practical and theoretical wisdom. About theoretical 
wisdom we will speak later. It is practical wisdom to 
which we have been referred ; and which, in approaching 
its discussion, Aristotle implies to possess "the standard 
of the means or adjustments." 

Practical wisdom for Aristotle is one with something 
which is present in all the animal creation and different 
for every kind of creature. It is the group-instinct, or 
the group-intelligence, or the consciousness of kind. In 
humanity it is the statesman's knowledge and perception ; 
the gift and ability of the man who, having trained in- 
sight into the distinctively human good or evil of life, 
based on his own excellence of character in which it is 
up to a certain point realised, is able to guide the organisa- 




wisdom or 
viz. as the 
value or 
of life. 

tion, habituation, and education of the group (for the 
statesman's business is more especially education) in the 
direction which will lead them to it. 

But here once more the horizon expands. The states- 
man knows what is the end of human life, and has -skill 
and insight to govern society and direct the educational 
habituation which instils the ethical or current social 
virtues in the right direction and to the right adjust- 
ments and adaptations the ratios or means in conduct. 

4. But still our quest is not ended. What is the end of 
human life, in view of which the statesman organises both 
politics and education ? The answer is to be found in the 
relation of practical wisdom to theoretical wisdom. Prac- 
tical wisdom, we have seen, is different for every organic 
group, and in a measure may be said to be distributed 
throughout creation. Theoretical wisdom is always one 
and the same, and strictly speaking, it is divine ; it studies 
no production of instruments for the good of mankind ; 
it cannot strictly be said to aim at the special good of 
mankind ; it does not specially concern itself with man, 
or at all with one group of creatures rather than with 
another. Its object of study or contemplation is rather 
what is above and beyond man ; there are many things 
in the universe more divine than man, Aristotle emphatic- 
ally observes ; more especially, it occupies itself with the 
nature of God. But though it is not an efficient cause 
of attaining the end of man, the name for which in Aris- 
totle is happiness, it is the formal cause, or at least a 
part of the formal cause ; that is to say, it does not 
produce human happiness as a cause may produce an 
effect other than itself; but it is human happiness or 
the end of man, or at least a considerable constituent 
of that end. 

Now the precise relation of practical to theoretical 
wisdom according to Aristotle is an interesting point. 
Practical wisdom, we said, is the wisdom of the statesman, 
and so far must be assumed to be supreme in society. 
On the other hand, theoretical wisdom is the higher 
activity, and is identical, or identical so far as human nature 
can attain it, with that activity of the soul which is happi- 


ness and the end of human life. Now how can the lower 
activity of practical wisdom be supreme over the higher, 
which is theoretical wisdom ? Which of the two is really 
superior and the guide of life ? Aristotle puts the con- 
tradiction plainly, and his answer is clear. Practical 
wisdom rules society in the interests of theoretical wisdom, 
but does not rule over theoretical wisdom itself. Ex- 
panding the answer, a follower of Aristotle compares the 
statesman's art to the house-steward or head of the serv- 
ants, and theoretical wisdom to the master of the house. 
The house-steward rules the house with a view to the 
master's leisure, his o-^oXry. The master has his duties of 
magistrate or thinker or soldier to perform ; the house- 
hold is organised to give him leisure for them. Just 
such is the statesman's duty, let us say, towards art, or 
the life of thought or religion. 

The relation is expanded by an Aristotelian writer : 
" So whatever choice or distribution of worldly resources, 
whether of bodily qualities or of wealth or of friends or 
of other goods, will be most helpful towards the contem- 
plation of God, that is the best, and that is the most 
beautiful standard or organisation ; and whatever arrange- 
ment, whether by defect or by excess, hinders men from 
glorifying God and enjoying Him, that arrangement is 
bad." (Stewar% ii., 4, E. E. @., 3, 1249, a2i-b25.) The 
final standard of the means or adjustments of conduct, 
then, is the highest life of the soul. The habituation of 
the young and the moral education of society are to be 
so guided and framed by the statesman that art and 
learning and religion shall always hold the highest place, 
and so far as humanly possible shall have the lead in, and 
form the inspiration of, his country. The simplest act 
of duty, we may say, in its twofold scope, points forward 
to the knowledge of God. The act of duty, we saw, in 
being for its own sake, is for the sake of the beautiful ; 
and in being for the sake of the beautiful it is a perfect- 
ing of the soul by a fine and delicate adjustment and 
adaptation to the social order ; and further, in being an 
adaptation to the social order, it is finally instrumental 
to that which inspires and justifies and resumes the mean- 

2 D 


ing of the social order, namely, to the activity in which 
the soul finds its perfection in laying hold of the divine. 
You do not, in the view of Plato and Aristotle, in aspiring 
to intellectual excellence and to religious contemplation, 
tread a separate and diverging path from that of the 
ordinary good citizen. You follow his path but pursue 
it further, and what the saint or the poet or the thinker 
may attain at the end is only the quintessence of what 
all of you have been practising from the beginning. 
"Friend- 5. The true relation of theoretical wisdom to moral 

ship," i.e. Development receives a remarkable illumination from the 

com- r 

munion in theory of friendship, which shows how practical wisdom 
experience 1 must * n * ts highest form actually pass into that which is 
the link theoretical. 

group-" Practical wisdom, we saw, is the human form of the 

welfare and group instinct or consciousness of kind. In Aristotle's 
^.^ there ; S) a n through creation, a certain feeling of 
affection corresponding to every form of this conscious- 
ness of kind. He illustrates it by the different levels of 
parental care which attend upon the different levels of 
intelligence in the animal world. This is so in man as in 
other species. Every form of human association has 
its characteristic type of group-sentiment or liking, or 
" friendship," as he terms it, corresponding to the form of 
group-intelligence which it implies. 

This being so, you have only to consider the case of 
the highest form of human association to see how the 
group-intelligence or sense of group-welfare (practical 
wisdom) must transform itself into theoretical wisdom. 
For the highest form of human association is that in 
which human beings have come to care for that in each 
other which is the best and consequently the most real 
thing in them, namely, the highest goodness and intelli- 
gence. When this is so, the group-consciousness has 
become the consciousness of a response in the other per- 
son to what is highest and best in the self. This response 
is a heightening of life, by the extension of the aware- 
ness of our life to the life of the friend who shares our 
consciousness of the best things. We feel our life intensi- 
fied in his. Therefore the consciousness which we share 


with him is ipso facto the consciousness of the highest 
activity of the soul Any other common consciousness 
would be comparatively external and accidental, and 
would not give us the same community of feeling. 

Therefore practical wisdom or the instinct toward 
group-welfare not only, in directing human society, aims 
at adjusting it to the presence of the highest activities ; 
but, in so far as men become all they might become, 
actually passes into other activities. 

Thus we have followed the expanding horizon of the 
great moralist's account of the end of human life, or of the 
activity of the soul, which is the provisional definition of 
that end, also called by the name of happiness. 

What we have found is that the simplest act of social 
duty taught by habituation to the growing citizen, say 
courage or soberness, has in it a motive, or we may say 
really implies an awakening and a yearning of the soul, 
which first expresses itself in loyalty to society and in 
good citizenship, but which can find no final satisfaction 
till it completes itself in the knowledge and thought of 
God, in union with whom alone the individual comes to 
be that which he really is. 

2 I) 2 


Absolute, 27, 97, 99, 137, 189, 193, 
248 If., VII., 321, 337, 340, 
X., Appendix I. 

--/ contingcntia mnndi, 262 

Agnosticism, 261 

Alexander, Professor S., 112 //., 188 
213, 359 

Alphabet of the world, 12 

Analogies, false, in conception of in- 
dividual, 282 

Anti- vitalism and vitalism, 195 

A priori principles, source of their 
certainty, 46 

Aristotle, 124, 129, 193, 246, 258, 
263, 298, 302 ;/., 336, 344, X., 
Appendix II. 

Art, in M. Bergson, 168 ;/., 329 ;/. 

Atomic weights, 85 

Average, dist. constant, 86 

Bain, Alexander, 53, 141 

Beauty, 5, 51 ;;. 

Hen Jonson, quoted, 27 ;;. 

Bergson, Professor Henri, Evolution 
( rtatrice ', 32, 54 ;/., 94, 102 //., 
107 ;/., 134, 137, 150, 168 ;/., 
172,177, 204 ff., 230, 259, 355; 
DonnteS) 141, 1 68 ;/. ; Le Kire, 
1 68 //. ; Malicre, 208 

Binyon, Laurence, 370 

Body and Mind, V. 

Bradley, Professor A. C., Shake- 
spearean Tiagcdy* 4 ; Oxford 
Lectures on Poetry ', 222, 236, 
382, 395 

Bradley, F. II., in Mind, 69, 132, 
1 68 ;/., 177, 224, 240, 264, 
292, 348, 362 ; Appearance and 
Reality, 38/7., 57, 58, 68, 73, 
76, 168 ;/., 223, 242, 250, 265, 
269, 294, 315, 362 ; Presupposi- 
tions of Critical History -, 331 ;/. ; 
Principles of Logic, 33, 40, 53, 

55, 177, 213; Ethical Studies, 

113 ;/., 242 
Broadbent, quoted from Mitchell, 

202 n. 
Browning, quoted, 21, 25i 27i 29 ; 

"Caliban," 255 
Buckle, H. T., 87 ;/., 88 //. 
Burnet, Professor John, 124 n. 

Caird, E., 94, 102, 240, 243 
Calculation and Prediction, 107 ff. 
Causal activity in nature not com- 
parable to free cause, 66 
Christianity, on sin and atonement, 

2 S3 . 

Criminal statistics 1898, 88 ;/. 

Class, dist. "world," 35-36: sec 
Similarity, Induction 

Cloister and the Hearth, quoted, 306 //. 

Cognition and thought, 66 ; not in- 
telligence, 98 ff. 

Colour, "a spirit upon things," 63 

Conation, modern theory of, 128 

Consciousness, a single, limits of, 287 

Constancy of energy, 169 

Content, dist. satisfied, 25 

Content, organisation and predomin- 
ance of, 173 ff. 

Contingent truth, 51 

Contradiction, dist. negativity, 222 ff. 

Creative, initiative, 23, IX. ; imagina- 
tion, 330 

Dante, fusion of moods in, 276 ; the 
world of the Divine Comedy, 
380 ff. 

Di'danchement, 187 

"De gustibus "false, 293, 301 

Determinism, opp. to determination, 

341, 354 

Discontinuity, in mental life, 181 
Dissociation of the Absolute, 279 ff., 





Driesch, Dr. Hans, 151 #., 163, 170 
w., 187 ., 191 ; his "equi- 
potential, 368 ; entelechy, 195, 
207 ff. 

" DureV' 339, 355 

Dubois Rcymond, 107 n, 

" End " a value, not a terminus, 131 

Entelechy, 151 ;/., 195 

Epiphenomenalism, 132 ff. 

u Equivalence," idea of, 169 ff. 

Evil, not illusion, 280 

" Expression" and " mechanical fin- 
ish," 145 

Externality, 73 ; of guidance to 
organism, 187, 193 ff., 220, 289, 

Fact, 13 

Falstaff, 17 . 

Faust) Goethe's, Kuno Fischer on, 


Feeling and thought, 63 
Finite world not illusion, 240 
Forfeiture of the imperfect, 389 
Forms, in Plato, 375 
Freedom and thought, 60, IX. 
Fruition and Conation, 129 ff. 
Fusion of moods in Absolute, 274 ff". ; 

read backwards as dissociation, 


Gierke's Political Theories of the 
Middle Ages (Maitland), 373 

Gifford, Lord, i, 2 

Goethe, quoted, 356 ;/. 

Green, T. II., Prolegomena to Ethics, 
26, 66, 79, 302, 308,312,323, 
336, 355 ; Works, 55, 100 

Hedonism, 64 

Hegel, 44, 60, 65, 79, 156, 178 ; on 

contradiction, 228 ff. 
Heredity, 171 
History, contrasted with science and 

philosophy, 33, 78 
"Hope, not guidance," criticised, 19 
Horizontal division of real truer than 

vertical, 373 
Hostility to sense in sublime, 236 

Ideal, its true nature, 136 

Identity, dist. similarity, 35 ; law of, 

138/5 in Bergson, 141 
II gran rifiuto in philosophy, 10 
Illusion, 241 

Illustration of place of quantity in high 
experience, Aristotle's "mean," 
396 ff. 

Imitation and invention, 168 n. 

Immediate experience, 70, 295 

Immediates, three precarious fact, 
life, self, 13 

Inconceivability, test by, 51 

Individual, as the real, 68, 77 ; finite 
individual, 286 ; province of the 
categorical, 102 

Individuality and a world, 77 ; sup- 
posed discrepant with universal 
law, 96 

Induction does not aim at class- 
generality, 141 

Infinity, numerical and other, 38 ;/., , 
71, X., Appendix I. 

Intellectualism, 66, 216 

" Interaction " and Indcterminism, 
166, 168-169 

Interest, inherent in finite mind, 300 

Intuition in M. Bergson, 168 ;/., 328 

Inward and outward, 72 

James, Professor Wm., Pluralistic 
Universe, 372, 374 ; Pragma- 
tism ^ 10, 1 80; Varieties of 
Religions Experience, 75 

Joachim, Ethics of Spinoza, 66 

Joseph, II. W. B., An Introduction 
to Logic, 96, 263 

Judgment, infallible, reviewed, 292 

Justice, 5, 1 6 

Kant. 46, 144, 156, 218, 302 ;/., 
309, 388 

Laplace, 88 n. ; Essai philosophique 

sur les probability i quoted, 

107 n. 

Latta, Professor R., 109 n. 
Leibniz, 66 ; on the movement of a 

uniform wheel, 109 n. 
Life, 13, 99, 150, 189 
Lindsay, A. D., on Bergson, 40, 97, 

1 68 n. 

Logic, the spirit of totality, 23, 340 
Logical pessimism, 278 
Logical stability, 68, 299 
Logical structure of reality, 243 
Lotze, 99, 149, 189, 191 
Love, argument for value of particular 

being, 22 

Lower and higher mysticism, 231 ff. 
Lucan, quoted, 28 n. 



M'Dougal, Social Psychology ', 267 

M'Gilvary, Professor, 230 

M'Taggart, J. E., " Individualism of 
Value," 271,291, 302 ; Hegelian 
Cosmology, 19, 159, 248; Com- 
mentary on Hegefs Logic, 21, 
123, 12$, 225, 274 ; Studies in 
Hegelian Dialectic, 225, 241, 
308, 383 

Machines, 142 ff., 209 ff. 

Mack, Freiheitstheorien, 293, 343 

Mechanism, 73, 132, 138 ff., 155; 
subordinate to teleology, 1 64 ff. , 
206 ff. 

Mill, J. S., Utilitarianism, 291 ; 
Logic, 84, 88 . 

,Mind, and its filling, 158, V., 220; 
minds we can treat as our own, 

Mitchell, Professor, Structure and 

Growth of the Mind, 114 ;/., 

168 ;;., 182, 186 
Moore, George, Principia cthica, 


Moral good, 5 
Moral action, only one side of life, 

Morality, par excellence, dist. other 

goodness, 348 
Miinsterberg, Eternal Values, 390 

Naturalism, 74 

Natural selection, a positive agency, 


Nature, X., 135 

Necessary action and agent, 352 

Negative approach, the, 288 

Negativity, 232 ff. 

Nervous system, illustrates an ethical 
principle, 200 ff., 216 

Nettleship, R. L., 22, 55, 56, 62, 65, 
92, 235, 243 ff., 259, 379, 394 

Newman, John Henry, 97 

Non-contradiction, law of, 44, 52 ; 
a positive and constructive prin- 
ciple, 267 

Norman Smith, on introjcctionism, 
1 88 

Objective relations, opp. to conscious 

states, 305 
Obvious, the, 7 

Omnipotential, life and mind, 368 
Ontological argument, 80 
Optimism, 14, 242 
Organic regulation, 195 

Pain, see pleasure, not illusion, 240, 

Pan-psychism, 82, 194, 362 

Pantheism, in Tennyson, 252 

Pater, Walter, on colour, 63 

Paulsen, Einleitungin die Philosophic, 
1 02 

Personality, 261 

Persons, 284, VIII. 

Philosophy, essentially of the con- 
crete, 33 ; categorical, 102 

Physical system, 173 ; how repre- 
sents a meaning or an "end," 
185 ; continuous with psychical, 
361 n. 

Plato, 8, 17, 45, 57, 73, 167, 223 
ff., 246, 298, 313, 317, 340, 

346, 373 

Pleasure, 5, 26, 65, 125 ;/. ; as a 
guide, 136 ;/. ; in universe, 244, 

Porphyry, tree of, 34 

7rpoiy and tvipycm, 129 ;/. 

Pragmatist, the, 52-53 ; Pragmatism, 

Prediction of conduct, dist. " reduc- 
tion," 113 n. ; unity of intelli- 
gence, 1 1 5 

Pringle Pattison, Professor A. Seth, 
96, 261 ., 291, 370 

Probation, 26 

Psychical, store of acquisitions, exer- 
cising energy, would be physical, 
*73 2I 5? relation to physical, 
361 //. 

Psychoid (Driesch), 207 ff. 

Purpose, cannot be a whole, 162, 

Quantitative counterparts of qualities, 

Quetelet, 87 n. 

Relevancy, better term than uni- 
formity, 93, 119 

Repetition, wholes of, 35 ; root of 
generality, opposed to the uni- 
versal, 104 

Ritchie, Professor David, Darwin 
and Hegel, 68 ;i. 

Roycc, Prof, 69, 82, 387, 394 

Ruskin, John, 5 . 

Russell, Hon. Bcrtrand, Philosophical 
Essays, 14, 18, 247 ; Principles 
of Mathematics, 71 



Satiety, dist. satisfaction, 128 

Satisfactoriness and satisfaction, 23, 
53, 128; and self-sacrifice, 234; 
dist. pleasure, 244, 256 

Schiller, F. C. S., Humanism, 40, 
68, 80, 205 

Schopenhauer, 97, 253 

Science, hypothetical, 102: see Philo- 

Self, 13; animal, 342; naive, 343; 
bad, 349, X. 

Self- consciousness, no account of 
differences between selves, 323 ; 
the two forms of its " other," 
235 ff. ; its full content the 
Absolute, 337 

Self-direction, 217 

Self-representative series and infinity, 

38 > 393 
Self-representation in a true infinity, 

38 393 

Self-sacrifice, 234, 243, 256 

Sensation, character of thought in, 
59 ; of a pin-prick, 197 ; an 
interpretation, 197 ; psychical or 
physical? 361 u. 

Sidgwick, Henry, 291, 308, 324 

Sigwart, Dr. Christoph, Logic, 90 

Sin, reality of, 241 

Similarity, root of general, dist. uni- 
versal, 35 

Soul, does it bring properties with it? 
171 ; what it is like, 189, 218, 


Soul-making, 26 
Span of consciousness, 388 
Specious present, 388 
Spinoza, 66, 133, 178 
Stability, 23 

State, the, 25 n., 311, 313 
Statistics, first-class and second-class, 

89 ; physical and social, 85 ff. 
c< Strait Gate " in Ruskin's Florence, 

Spiritual, popularly connected with 

" inward," 74 
Spiritualist phenomena, in Driesch, 

170 n. 

Stevenson, Robert Louis, quoted, 28 n, 
Stewart, Professor]. A,, 401 
Stout, Professor G. F., Manual of 

Psychology, 166, 169, 192, 210 ; 

Groundwork of Psychology, 1 14, 

128, 132; Analytic Psychology, 

125, 128, 131, 184 n. ; Mind, 


Strong, C. A., 218 

Subjective Idealism, 188 

Sublime, 222 

Sufficient reason, law of, 138 

Supersocial activities, 379 

Syllogism, essentially creative, 334 


Taylor, Professor A. E:, Elements of 
Metaphysics, 19, 37, 38, 57 ., 
75, 82, 87, 91 ff., 96, ii3., 
118,138, 176, 179, 204 ff., 247, 


Teleology, subjective, and "law," 
117, IV. ; below and above con- 
sciousness, 153, 179 

Theism, 156 

Thought, its ultimate character, and 
relation to sense, feeling, will, 
60 ff. ; to cognition, 66 

Timaeus, 73 w. 

Timelessnessof the self, cpd. ' c Duree," 


Tragedy, significance of, 18 

Transmutation of experiences in Ab- 
solute, 373, 387-388 

Truth, as " the whole," 43 ; not in 
mere correspondence, 306 

Twelfth Night, quoted, 253 n. 

Ugliness, 5 

Ultimate and immediate confused, 

" Unconsciousness," in invention and 
inference, 333 

Uniformity of nature, interpretation 
discussed, 83 ff., 138 ff. 

Universal " world," 37 ; root mean- 
ing of, II., 40 n. ; its self- 
maintenance, 46 ; the system of 
an individual, 103 ; in principle 
excludes plurality of similars, 
104; in the "mean," 397-398, 
120, 184 ;*. 

Varisco, Professor Bernardino, / 
Massimi Problemi, 3 n., 1 12 ., 
126, 148 ., 150, 157, 215, 286 

Value, 128; in inorganic world, 147, 

Venn, Dr. John, Empirical Logic and 
Logic of Chance, 87 ff. w. 

Verworn, Allegemeine Physiologic, 
107 n., 195 

Ward, Professor James, Naturalism 
and Agnosticism, 54, 58, 78, 82, 



96, 107 ., 109 ., 134, 142; 
on katabolic character of inor- 
ganic world, 147 n., 179, 204 
ff., 286, 356 

Whistler, J. McNeill, on taste and 
knowledge, 62 

" Widerspruch," in Hegel's Logic, 

William Morris, 1 66 

World, opp. to class, 35-36 ; universal, 
37 ; essential to non-contra- 
diction, 46 ; type of mind and 
individual, 289 ; essence of in- 
dividuality, 320 ; two or more, 
in Plato, 374 

Wundt, Logic, 169 


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